Resources for Healthy and Safe Learning this Summer

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

To: Superintendents, Principals, Charter School Leaders, Reopening Advisors, Counselors, School Nurses 
From: Kati Moseley, Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Manager 
Date: May 31, 2022 
Re: Resources for Healthy and Safe Learning this Summer 

Dear Partners, 

As the school year draws to a close and summer programs begin, we are sharing the resources in this email to support school health and safety during summer programming.  

We deeply appreciate your continued partnership as we all work to provide the best summer learning experience and environment for students and staff across the state. 

COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation 

  • Schools should continue implementing free COVID-19 testing programs for students and staff. 

  • When districts or schools are considering a shift to remote instruction, they should first maximize implementation of layered mitigation strategies, including recommending face coverings or implementing universal use of face coverings, prior to contemplating a move to remote instruction or other closure of in-person learning. 

  • Schools should monitor unusual absenteeism or illness within a cohort and notify their LPHA about unusual respiratory disease activity if the following thresholds are met. 

    • At the school level: ≥ 30% absenteeism, with at least 10 students/staff absent.  

    • At the cohort level: ≥ 20% absenteeism, with at least 3 students/staff absent. 

  • If students or staff have COVID-like symptoms, schools must exclude the individual per OAR 333-019-0010 (3) & (4).  

  • Learning outdoors is an opportunity for summer programs. COVID-19 transmission rates are much lower outdoors. Schools are encouraged to use outdoor learning to help support safety and reduce the number of students and staff gathered indoors. Conduct learning in natural environments that allow for place-based learning, STEM exploration, and outdoor play. Supplemental Guidance for Learning Outside, is available as a reference to support incorporating outdoor learning into summer programs to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Other Health and Safety Concerns for the Summer 

Extreme Heat: The Oregon Health Authority’s extreme heat webpage provides easily accessible resources for members of the public, local health departments and other organizations to assist ongoing outreach efforts to those most vulnerable to extreme heat events. Tools include knowing the warning signs and symptoms, health threats from extreme heat, and fact sheets in multiple languages 

Reducing Health Effects of Wildfire Smoke: Wildfires and smoke can create dangerous conditions for youth, especially those with chronic health conditions. The Oregon Health Authority’s wildfires and smoke webpage offers information about current wildfires, wildfire smoke conditions, and what you can do to reduce the health effects of wildfire smoke with tools such as wildfires in Oregon, health threats from wildfire smoke, and FAQs in multiple languages. 

ODE’s Summer Learning Resources 

On May 19, ODE released the companion toolkit to the Summer Learning Best Practice Guide. The toolkit supports the planning, managing, and implementation of robust, equity-driven summer programs by offering practical tools and resources. Please visit the Summer Learning website to find resources and additional information.  

The leadership and commitment you have shown this past year is extraordinary. Working tirelessly to welcome students and families with an open heart, compassion, and grace; leaning into updated guidance to manage COVID-19 with layered mitigation strategies; implementing test to stay programs; hosting vaccination clinics and notifying families of disease exposure all required an incredible amount of flexibility, fortitude, and resilience. Our COVID-19 management planning for the 2022-23 school year will take lessons learned and build on them to strengthen our schools and the health and safety of everyone who enters through the doors. These lessons will continue to be important in the coming months as COVID-19 continues to circulate in our communities. 

As always, we are here to support you, answer your questions and hear your comments. Please reach out to