Schools and Childcare

Planning for the 2022-23 School Year

Please visit The Oregon Department of Education's website for more information on planning and resources.

If you have questions about the ODE’s guidance, please email 
[email protected].

Vaccination Requirements for Teachers and School Staff

In response to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, Governor Brown and OHA officials determined that a vaccination requirement is necessary for teachers and school staff.  

On or before Oct. 18, 2021, all health care providers and staff, and all K–12 teachers, school staff and volunteers must:

  • Be fully vaccinated and
  • Provide their employer, school, contractor or responsible party with proof of vaccination.

You can read the full rule for teachers, school staff and volunteers here.


COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Exception Request Form
COVID-19 Vaccine Religious Exception Request Form

Staying connected as kids return to school

While it may be a welcome sight to see students returning to in-person learning for many, as parents, grandparents, and caregivers, we may also be feeling extra stress and worry about the uncertainties of the school year.  

For some kids and families, the excitement of returning to their school communities may also mean adjusting to being around more people, physical distancing and wearing masks throughout the day. Other kids may need to get accustomed to being around more people.  Parents not only worry for their children’s health, but also carry the weight of the anxiety that many children and teens are feeling.  

Acknowledging that students and their families may be experiencing  a mix of emotions—excitement, nervousness, worry and a dash of hope (all the feels!)—the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) created Care and Connection. ODE knows that prioritizing emotional and mental health is critical to learning and has called upon schools across the state to welcome staff and students back in a way that is safe and inviting.  

These activities were designed to help ease the anxieties some students may feel and lay a solid foundation for the school year ahead. Ensuring that parents and caregivers find ways to connect and feel supported is as important as knowing that your child is well cared for. Here are some ideas to consider. 

  • If you are able, look into joining your local PTA.  
  • Ask your school about ODE’s Handle with Care tool that allows parents to text a teacher on any school day to let them know that your child might need extra support and patience. Nothing else will be said or asked.   
  • If you have younger children, plan physically-distanced playground meetups allowing kids and parents to get to know each other.   
  • Talk to trusted people in your circle. This is a challenging time for everyone.   
  • Reach out to your school’s guidance counselor if your student needs extra support.  
  • Check out these additional ODE resources for supporting your child’s emotional and mental wellbeing.  
  • Ask for help! Call the Safe + Strong Helpline for emotional support or to find more resources. Help is free and available 24/7. Language interpreters are available.  

If you or a loved one is in crisis, please call Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

How to support your child with the transition back to the classroom

For some children, learning from home the past year has been a welcome break from school days that were difficult to navigate. For others, closing schools resulted in the loss of a daily routine and an environment in which they thrived.   

Change can be hard, even for those who are excited about it. Children’s feelings about the transition back to in-person school may be complicated and their reactions may change as time goes on. Parents and caregivers will also likely have new feelings about it, which may not be the same as their kids’ reactions.  

Here are some ways to help your child with the transition:  

  • Remember the fundamentals. A regular pattern of a good night’s sleep and eating nutritious meals and snacks goes a long way to fuel flexibility, engagement and problem-solving during the day. 
  • Re-establish morning and afternoon routines. Involve your child in deciding the details. Having opportunities for choice and agency makes handling uncertainty easier for everyone. 
  • Create a visual aid like a calendar to help them understand what to expect in their new routine.  
  • Let them know what might be different at school this year.
  • Ask your child what they are feeling and how you can support them. Knowing you recognize that this is an exciting and challenging time and you are open to listening is reassuring, regardless of whether they have something to share.
    • What your child is feeling may not be what you expect. Let them know that whatever they are feeling is OK.
    • You may not be able to offer answers or certainties. Like adults, kids find it helpful to have someone who will just listen.
    • If talking is not your child’s thing, think about drawing with them, playing/listening to music, playing catch, swinging, going for a stroll. Doing something often inspires communication.
  • Encourage them to think of what will be good about returning to school. 
  • Your child may be worried about bringing COVID home. Reminding them of what your family and the school are doing to reduce the chances of infection can help them feel calmer.  

If you think your child or family may need more support, contact your child’s primary care provider or check out the Safe + Strong mental and emotional health resources page.

Here are some links to learn more:

If your children are 6 months or older, they can get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you have questions about the vaccine’s safety or effectiveness, we encourage you to talk with your trusted health care provider. You can find a vaccine at Get Vaccinated.

Tips for helping children to mask up at school

A lot of us have been wearing masks for a while. If you have kids over age two, chances are they're great at it too.

As parents, we're asked to do a lot to keep our kids safe. It's been especially true through this pandemic. It is normal to feel anxious, unsure and tired. With school starting so soon, it's okay to feel uncertain about how to talk to kids about masking.  

Here are some tips to support your kids to feel confident in choosing to mask up at school:

    Kids pick up on our moods even before we’re aware of them. Having a talk with your kids about their feelings and worries is a great first step. Acknowledging those emotions and working together helps everyone feel supported. 

    By now, your kids know why wearing a mask is important. (Thank you so much!) Kids love helping. For younger kids, try and find the positive reasons why wearing a mask is important.

    Model masking yourself and through others by talking about other heroes who wear masks. Heroes like doctors and nurses and health care professionals wear masks! Your kids may respond best to superheroes or cartoon characters.

    Practice effective masking at home. Practice putting on and taking off masks in front of a mirror. Have fun adjusting the straps and nose pieces. Younger kids love playing teacher, you could do an art project together while wearing your masks. 

    Encourage them and notice good masking behavior. No matter the age, let them know that you’re proud of them and that they should be proud of themselves! Thank them for being amazing helpers and friends. 

    Prepare them for mask free times such as lunch or recess. Let your children know it’s okay to take off their masks when they’re eating and drinking with others. You’re already doing an amazing job teaching them to be comfortable with their bodies. A mask is just another side of it. 

    Practice talking about masking: When at school, your kids will meet friends who have different ideas about masking. Be open and honest about your family culture and your feelings. Role-playing is a great way to problem solve and practice together. There are so many great and kind ways to build confidence in masking as a safe practice with statements like, “I like my mask. I feel safe with it on, and I hope you to feel safe with me too.” No matter what, let them know there are safe adults who will support them in school.

    Prepare yourself for the after-school check in. It’s okay to want to ask if they felt safe and if they had problems with their mask that you could solve together. Let it be a part of the conversation. 

    Talk to your teacher about masking encouragement, enforcement and support. Honest conversations do so much and may help navigate all those emotions we’re feeling.  

You can read more about wearing a mask at school here.

Tips to help make COVID-19 testing easier for kids

Getting tested for COVID-19 might feel scary to some children. As parents or guardians, we want to make it as easy as possible for them. Preparing our kids for a COVID-19 test ahead of time can help make it more comfortable.

You know your kids best and you know what works for them. Use language that your child understands. Here are some ideas:

    Make sure your kids know what COVID-19 is and why they are getting tested. Getting the test is a way to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

    Explain what the process will look like. For example, you can explain that they may wear protective clothing and that it may be uncomfortable, but it will be over fast.

    Make a plan with your kids about what to do during the test. Ask them what they can do to stay still like counting, hugging a stuffed animal, taking deep breaths or thinking of a favorite activity.

    Explain to them how you’ll find out the results of the test.

    Let your children know that they’ll have to quarantine if they test positive. Reassure them that you’ll make sure their needs are met while they’re at home.
graphic - reduce the spread


 

RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

Lane County School Districts

District Address Phone
Bethel 52 4640 Barger Dr.
Eugene 97402
541-689-3280
Blachly 90 20264 Blachly Grange Rd.
Blachly 97412
541-925-3262
Creswell 40 998 West A St.
Creswell 97426
541-895-6000
Crow-Applegate-Lorane 66 85955 Territorial Rd.
Eugene 97402
541-935-2100
Eugene 4J 200 N. Monroe St.
Eugene 97402
541-790-7700
Fern Ridge 28J 88834 Territorial Rd.
Elmira 97437
541-935-2253
Junction City 69 325 Maple St.
Junction City 97448
541-998-6311
Lowell 71 65 South Pioneer St.
Lowell 97452
541-937-2124
Mapleton 32 10868 E. Mapleton Rd.
Mapleton 97453
541-268-4312
Marcola 79J 38300 Wendling Rd.
Marcola 97454
541-933-2817
McKenzie 68 51187 Blue River Dr.
Finn Rock 97488
541-822-3338
Oakridge 76 76499 Rose St.
Oakridge 97463
541-782-2813
Pleasant Hill 1 36386 Hwy 58
Pleasant Hill 97455
541-746-9646
Siuslaw 97J 2111 Oak St.
Florence 97439
541-997-2651
South Lane 45J 455 Adams
Cottage Grove 97424
541-942-3381
Springfield 19 640 A St.
Springfield 97477
541-747-3331