Medford schools working towards safe reopening

MEDFORD, Ore. — The areas largest district, the Medford School District, is still planning to bring students back to campus, in the coming weeks.

After months of limited in person learning, MSD is finally able to open its doors to students soon.

Right now, the district says it’s doing all it can, to make the return safe and smooth.

“Live and in person is something we are all staring February 22nd to be able to see that happen at all our buildings,” says Medford School Dist.’s Superintendent Bret Champion.

As the Medford School District gears up for the return of students, so come a new set of challenges.

“The biggest challenge of the unknown, and those pieces we don’t know till students actually are back with us in these large numbers,” says Champion.

Champion says the district is in the process of ‘ramping in’ students into schools, similar to an orientation.

He wants students prepared for what will be a very different school experience than kids are used to.

“What it’s supposed to look like, what it’s going to feel like, what it’s going to sound like and then we’ll start bringing them in  on regular schedule for regular school,” says Champion.

That ramping in process will begin mid February for many students, but most won’t begin going to the classroom until March.

Grades K through 3 will attend 4 days a week in person.

Grades 4 through 6, middle school and high school will operate on a hybrid schedule.

“Instead of having your full English 3 class, of 30 students, you’re gonna have 15 students every other day and then the other 15 the other days, and then the time they are away they will be working on some asynchronous stuff at home,” says Champion.

Right now Champion says the district is working to create a safe environment.

This involves training teachers, and working on safety protocols.

“We’ve been screening, we’ve been tracing and we have put you know disinfectant everywhere and we’ve done training, we’ve increased HVAC run times, we’ve increased fresh air intakes, changed out the MERVE13 filters,” says Ron Havniear, Director of Facilities for MSD.

Families have until this Friday to decide whether they will  return in person, or opt for the Medford Online Academy.

On Monday, this district said of the just under 14,000 students in Medford schools, only approximately 200 have transferred to the online option.

The district says it is still working on the logistics for pick up, drop off and lunch times.


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Jenna King is the 6pm anchor and our Feature Reporter at 10pm and 11pm for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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