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All Parkrose School District schools closed due to COVID-19 staffing shortage, other schools transition to distance learning

All Parkrose Schools will be closed on Monday, Jan. 10 due to staffing shortages caused by COVID-19.

PORTLAND, Ore. — All Parkrose School District schools will be closed on Monday, Jan. 10 due to coronavirus-related shortages.

The district sent out the following message: 

All Parkrose Schools will be closed Monday, January 10 due to staffing shortages. The district will communicate with the community regarding next steps tomorrow. (Effective tomorrow - Mon. Jan. 10)

KGW reached out to the school district to confirm whether this was COVID-19 related and a district spokesperson said in an emailed statement:

This is due to COVID-19. Staff who are sick, quarantining, or have family who are sick.

Durham Elementary School in the Tigard-Tualatin School District will also be closed on Jan. 10 while staff prepares for a transition to distance learning, according to a release from the district. 

Durham Elementary Schools said in a statement:

Due to the increasing impact COVID-19 and the Omicron variant has had on staff and students, Durham Elementary will transition to distance learning effective immediately. School will be held online Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday this week. Wednesday, January 12, is a teacher planning day and no school for students. Durham will return to in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Ockley Green in Portland will also be closed on Monday, Jan. 10. The school will move to distance learning beginning Jan. 11 until Jan. 14.

Additional Information for Ockley Green:

  • During temporary distance learning, all in-person extracurricular activities will be postponed including athletics and performing arts during this time. This includes practices, competitions, rehearsals and/or performances. 
  • Breakfast and lunch will be offered daily for pickup while students are in temporary distance learning. Families can pick up meals every day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ockley Green.

At least three additional schools (Roosevelt, Cleveland and McDaniel High Schools) in Oregon have gone back to distance learning, albeit temporarily, as the omicron variant wave washes over Oregon.

Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill was part of a news conference on Friday, Jan. 9 where he pushed back against the notion that the spread of the virus in schools was unavoidable.

Many students and staff will likely be exposed to COVID, Gill said, but with the full protocols in place, the exposures won't necessarily result in infection.

Portland schools have gone back to the COVID safety protocols until at least Feb. 4:

In a news release, Portland Public Schools said these protocols will be in effect at least until Feb. 4: 

  • Student athletes and performers must wear masks at all times during competition and practices, as well as music and dance performances, with the exception of students who play wind instruments.  
  • Access to locker rooms will be limited.
  • No overnight travel for athletic competitions or performances.
  • Concession stands will not be open at extracurricular activities or games
  • Spectators age 5 and up must show proof of being fully vaccinated or offer documentation of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. 
  • Opportunities will be increased to receive COVID-19 tests and possible return to participation after five to seven days with negative tests.

Hospitalizations and case rates in the state have both climbed steeply in the last couple of weeks with health officials warning there is more to come. In the last week, Oregon set its highest-ever record for a single-day COVID case count with more than 10,000 cases.

Health officials are asking Oregonians to get their vaccine and boosters when eligible. If you're in need of a vaccine or booster, you can find one here.

KGW's Anthony Macuk contributed to this report.

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