Pamplin Media Group – 12 COVID cases in North Clackamas schools since reopening | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

District responds by sending cohorts home for virtual classes; Gladstone elementary has no cases, so far

North Clackamas School District officials have reported 12 cases of COVID positivity among hybrid-learning cohorts.

NCSD elementary schools have remained largely open for in-person learning, because only cohorts of students affected by positive COVID tests are sent home for online classes.

Officials, so far, have not said which schools have reported positive cases, or whether teachers or students have largely been affected. Parents and teachers have reported off the record that Ardenwald, Scouters Mountain and Mt. Scott elementary schools in Milwaukie and Happy Valley have had positive cases, but that has not been confirmed by district officials.

District spokesperson Jonathan Hutchison said he wasn’t sure where there have been positive cases but said he would talk with school nurses to find out.

“When these situations arise, the event is managed by our nurses working in conjunction with the county health department, so I’m not centrally involved,” Hutchison said.

COURTESY PHOTO - Kindergartners work on art projects as they returned to school this month for the first time in a year at the Gladstone Center for Children & Families.NCSD didn’t post any information about how it has experienced positive COVID cases on its website. North Clackamas instead posted information about a general protocol that sends cohorts of students home for a week for Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) following a positive COVID test: “One or more cohorts, or an entire school, may be closed to onsite learning for a period up to seven days or more following a confirmed case. In this case, the affected cohorts may return to CDL for a specified amount of time.”

COURTESY PHOTO - First graders line up earlier this month at John Wetten Elementary in Gladstone for their first day of in-person classes in more than a year.Clackamas County recently returned to “high risk” from “moderate risk,” in what county officials said was partly the result of schools reopening for in-person classes.

North Clackamas and Gladstone elementary schools have been reopened for in-person learning for only three weeks. Despite the COVID cases in schools, Hutchison said NCSD high schools and middle schools are still on track for reopening April 26.

NCSD has eight elementary schools, compared to only one in the smaller district to the south. Gladstone School District spokesperson Leslie Robinette said the district’s John Wetten Elementary School has gone three weeks of in-person learning without a reported COVID case.

“If we become aware of any cases, we would seek immediate advice from Clackamas County public health as to whether we should shift a cohort to CDL and for how long,” Robinette said. “The county recently clarified that 14 days is the recommended quarantine period for such outbreaks.”

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