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State to cede to local school districts decisions on how to run in the fall, state leader says

Malheur County school districts will independently decide when and how to reopen schools for the 2020-2021 school year, according to a new letter from Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education.

Gill said the state won’t mandate statewide practices because of “the differing circumstances in each district” relating to the severity of COVID-19 outbreaks.

“These individual plans will necessarily look different from community to community, as each district in Oregon serves diverse communities with distinct strengths and needs, has unique physical structures, includes different staff make-ups and local bargaining agreements, has experienced varying degrees of impact from COVID-19 outbreaks, and has access to various levels of readiness to respond to an outbreak,” Gill said in the letter.

On March 13, Oregon public school buildings closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and have not reopened . . .