You may have heard the August 19 news that a new rule will be issued requiring all public and private school teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, or six weeks from FDA approval, whichever is later.

Similar announcements have been made in Washington State and California. The rule will be promulgated by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in the next few days and more details are expected to be released with the OHA rule.

The purpose behind the rule is to implement protocols to reliably hold school in-person, every school day, for all students, all year long. Today’s announcement outlined two keys to keeping our students in classrooms with minimal disruptions:

  • Most people in schools are unvaccinated (children under 12 are still not eligible), so masks are a critical tool to prevent spread of COVID-19 in a school setting.
  • Just as important is ensuring all the adults around our students are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so that they are safe and able to reliably provide in-person instruction.

The timing of the announcement referenced the quickly spreading Delta variant and the strain on hospitals around the state.

The rule will apply to all teachers, educators, support staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools, public and private. As with state employees and healthcare workers – religious and medical/disability related exceptions apply. We are working on a process to manage these exception requests.

We will also host vaccine clinics at some schools and share other locations where vaccines will be available. We will do everything we can to keep you up to date with the details as they are released. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all navigate these changes together.

Superintendent Debbie Brockett