Update on Reopening Plan, August 10, 2020

Dear Marcola School District; Students, Parents, Staff and Community Members.

As of August 10, 2020 Marcola School District has an important update to share about the start of the coming school year.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2020, the State issued new rules for opening Oregon schools (PDF) to in-person instruction, requiring a consistently low rate of new COVID cases. Neither Lane County nor the state of Oregon are currently meeting those low rates of new infection.
  • Marcola School District schools are continuing to plan for a return to in-person instruction at some point during the 2020-21 school year.
  • The #1 priority remains the health and safety for our students, families, and staff.

Opening Online: It has become clear that we must start the school year with 100% online instruction for all students. We will welcome all students back into our schools as soon as public health conditions allow.

This decision is a disappointment to many students and families who have been anticipating a return to school.  It is also a relief to those who have been hesitant about a return to in-person instruction in the midst of a pandemic.

Here are the new required COVID-19 baseline numbers (PDF) we need to meet in order for us to open schools for in-person instruction. We were at these rates in May and June, and they are our new community-wide goal:

Lane County metrics– must be met three weeks in a row:

  • 10 or fewer positive cases per 100,000 population in the preceding 7 days
  • 5% or fewer positive tests in Lane County in the preceding 7 days

–  AND –

State metric must be met three weeks in a row:

  • Test positivity rate of 5% or less in the preceding 7 days

K-3 Students: The state is more lenient on the baseline COVID numbers for opening doors for K-3 students. Research shared by Oregon Health Authority has shown that children under 10 get the virus at lower rates, get less sick, and spread the virus less than older students and adults.

So, while there is a possibility we will bring back K-3 students earlier than grades 4-12, all students will start with MSD Online learning. We will share updates with you as soon as possible.

MSD Online Learning: While starting this school year remotely is not ideal for many students and families, we have learned from the feedback our Marcola families provided after our emergency distance learning experience this spring. Marcola is committed to offering every child a rigorous online curriculum, four days a week, with daily contact from our dedicated teachers. We are committed to ensuring that our students continue to have access to the wide variety of classes and experiences available with in-person learning. To learn more about MSD Online learning, visit the following link to find Reopening Plan Updates and Resources.

A community outreach forum will be held on August 19, 2020 at 6:00 PM to allow parents and community members additional opportunities for a Q&A session with the Superintendent and MSD staff. *The live Community Zoom Q&A Forum will take place on August 19th at 6:00 pm. Please join us by Zoom. 

Our goal remains to bring MSD students and staff back to school as soon as is safely possible. The lower COVID-19 rates required by the state will become a community-wide goal that we can achieve by being diligent in our own health and safety behaviors.

So, while watching the COVID-19 numbers each day, our work is continuing, in order to provide the best possible education for all Marcola/Mohawk student’s.



Terry Augustadt

Marcola School District Superintendent