THE DALLES — North Wasco County School District 21 is planning full time, in person instruction for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.

“Planning for next year, we are planning on welcoming students back full time for regular, in person instruction,” said Interim-Superintendent Theresa Peters. The Oregon Department of Education is gathering input from around the state and is scheduled to release final guidance at the “Ready School Safe Learners Forum” on July 22, Peters said. The Board of Directors discussed plans for the upcoming 2021-22 school year at their regular meeting May 27.

According to Oregon.gov, Ready School Safe Learners is a “framework for schools … that ensures the health and safety of all students and staff and the families they return to each day,” put together by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) in coordination with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). It is the guidance that District 21 has been following for the entirety of the 2020-21 school year.

A scheduled session for school superintendents was planned June 1, to preview what is being looked at in regard to plans for full-time reopening and provide for input.

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The district also reported that for the remaining weeks of the school year, mask requirements were to continue unchanged. Due to a clarification from the Department of Education, District 21 was given the option to adjust their mask requirements for vaccinated individuals (student’s, staff, and spectators) but would be required to follow requirements such as OHA’s vaccination documentation verification, and administration staff decided to continue set mask requirements, with “mask breaks,” as they have since the beginning of the year.

Other business included recognizing the high school’s current AP Scholars, it’s cheerleaders for winning state championships, Track and Field athletes for their participation and victories at the Wilsonville High School invitational. The board also took the time to recognize both new and retiring staff.

Meeting action items included the unanimous passing of Resolution 20-21-15, a resolution requesting a transfer of appropriation, moving $204,000 of unused, authorized funds from the Student Investment Account into Federal Programs [grant] to cover part of the required 25 percent of the ESSR III fund, going towards Summer School and Enrichment Programs.

A request to approve authorization to negotiate and approve a Guaranteed Maximum Price contract with Griffin Construction LLC for the Kurtz Gym Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Capital project, as well as the motion to add two additional projects of replacing windows on the north side of the gym and repairing the gym’s heating system (neither of which were a part of the original seismic grant project), was also unanimously approved.

Other action items included approving the 2021-22 School Board meeting calendar, as well as adding a clarification statement to May 4 Budget Committee Meeting Minutes, clarifying the budget committee’s request for additional information regarding FTE for a Communication Specialist position in the proposed budget document.