Monroe School District Update (08/11/21)

August 11, 2021

Dear Monroe Families and Community,

Since June there have been multiple health and safety updates from the Oregon Department of Education, the Oregon Health Authority and the Governor’s Office regarding COVID-19 and starting school this fall. Our district plan was to start school as normally as possible for all students in all buildings. Our intention was to make masks optional for students and staff at the start of the school year. However, today Governor Brown has made an announcement requiring masks for all indoor facilities (public and private) starting Friday in order to combat the steep increase in COVID cases due to the delta variant. The school board and district recognize that we must follow these mandates or could be subject to fines, penalties, loss of licensure, even school closures.

Our top priority is to get our students back in school. While wearing masks to start the school year was not our intended outcome, we are hopeful that this mitigation effort will have the desired effect in keeping our students and families safe while staying in school full-time. We believe strongly that our students benefit greatly from being in school with their teachers and peers. We will be doing all we can to lessen the impact of the masks, including encouraging staff to use outdoor spaces for lessons as much as possible.

Obviously, this is again a very dynamic and fluid situation and we will be monitoring updates from ODE and the Governor’s Office daily. While we recognize and appreciate the differing points of view on this subject, our primary purpose is to provide the very best education we can for our students. We hope that these mitigation efforts will be effective and short-lived and we can get back to normal as quickly as possible. We will work to keep our families informed should pertinent changes occur.

Thank you,

Bill Crowson
Monroe School District