Ready Schools, Safe Learners: FAQs

What schools are required to follow ODE’s “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” guidance?
The “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” guidance applies to any K-12 public school in Oregon. This includes schools within a school district, education service district, or public charter. It also includes Juvenile Detention Education Programs (JDEP), Youth Correction Education Programs (YCEP), Long Term Care and Treatment Programs (LTCT) and the Oregon School for the Deaf.

The guidance also applies to private schools, including parochial schools, providing K-12 instruction.

Will the guidance be updated?
Yes, ODE has indicated that they will continue to update the guidance throughout the school year as needed. The current version of the guidance (3.7.8) was released on September 8, 2020.

When will ODE release its Comprehensive Distance Learning guidance?
ODE released its supplemental “Comprehensive Distance Learning” guidance on June 30. The most recent version of the CDL guidance can be viewed HERE.

For staff who are high risk, what options do they have for choosing the type of work they do?
If the ADA and/or state anti-discrimination statute is triggered because a person has a qualifying ‘disability’ or is viewed by the employer as having a qualifying disability, and the employee raises the accommodation issue with the employer, the employer must engage with the employee in a discussion about “reasonable accommodation(s).” In this interactive process, the parties can get somewhat creative when it comes to altering work type, schedule, etc.

How does a student get cleared to come back to the classroom if they don’t have a fever?
ODE guidance says that students and staff must remain home until 72 hours after their fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medicine and other symptoms are improving.

If a staff member or a student tests positive for COVID-19, they must remain home for at least 10 days after the onset of the illness and 72 hours after their fever is gone, without the use of fever reducing medicine. Alternatively, an individual who tested positive may return to school after receiving two subsequent negative COVID-19 tests taken at least 24 hours apart.

Some students and staff have chronic conditions that are similar to COVID symptoms. How will they be screened?
Chronic conditions are addressed on pp. 16-17 of the guidance. We expect clarification in the July 21 version of the guidelines.

How has the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission responded to COVID?

TSPC has extended and expanded the COVID 19 emergency provisions from March 2020 to continue throughout this current school year. These provisions provide relief to both educator candidates and existing educators and can be downloaded and reviewed in detail HERE.

One of the most prominent provisions is specific to the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements that licensed educators are subject to. An additional 25 Professional Development Units (PDUs) are removed from the total required PDUs if an educator is renewing after August 31, 2020. Below are four scenarios that illustrate what the PDU reduction looks like depending on your renewal date:

12 unit total reduction in requirements:

  • Renewals before 9/1/2020 and includes only the renewal period through that date.
  • (63 total PDU requirement for a three-year license and 113 total PDU requirement for a five-year license).

37 unit reduction in requirements (newest reduction of 25 units plus the ’20-’21 reduction of 12 equals 37 unit reduction):

  • Renewal during the 2020-2021 school year (after 9/1/2020) and includes the complete school year 2020-2021 and Spring 2020.
  • (38 total PDU requirement for a three-year license and 88 total PDU requirement for a five-year license)

25 unit reduction in requirements:

  • Future renewal where the reporting period only includes the 2020-2021 school year, but not Spring 2020.
  • (50 total PDU requirement for a three-year license and 100 total PDU requirement for a five-year license)

NO reduction in requirements:

  • Any renewal which does not include the reporting period of Spring 2020 nor 2020-21 school year.
  • (75 total PDU requirement for a three-year license and 125 total PDU requirement for a five-year license)

If you have any questions, please contact Teresa Ferrer at teresa.ferrer@oregoned.org. 1-1 Licensure Consults with Teresa can also be scheduled every Wednesday by registering HERE.