School Information

This past year and a half has been difficult for many of our students, families, faculty and school staff. We can’t thank you enough for your patience and resilience as we get through this pandemic together.

This web page offers updated information and resources for parents, students and school staff to address common questions and concerns, as well as inform about new guidelines.

Kudos to our students, parents and teachers for adapting to these circumstances with such courage and grace. This pandemic has had challenges, and we will continue to meet them together. Together we can keep each other safe while preparing our next generation to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Students returning to school

School Reopening Criteria and Clackamas County COVID-19 Data

As part of its planned guidance and metrics review process with the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Education released the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School Year effective on June 30, 2021.

The Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework replaced the Ready Schools, Safe Learners: Guidance for School Year 2020-21 version 7.5.2 issued on May 28, 2021. Throughout the year, the framework will be updated with additional links and resources to support schools during the upcoming school year. 

The vast majority of health and safety measures in this framework are advisory and offered to schools to support successful full-time, in-person instruction. Schools may choose whether to consider or implement advised safety measures. Clackamas County Public Health’s recommendations align with those outlined in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 school year.

Pfizer/Comirnaty Pediatric Vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 is available to schedule vaccine appointments at regular clinics. If you don’t see “Pfizer Pediatric Vaccine” as an option on the scheduler then the appointments are all full. Please continue to check back for available appointments as we try to meet the initial demand.

New variants of COVID-19 have demonstrated increased transmissibility, even among children and young adults. If you are not fully vaccinated, it is important to continue to wear masks, remain physically distant, and practice proper hand hygiene. Our best defense against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Pfizer vaccines have now been approved for kids aged 5 and older. Even if you don’t feel you are at risk for COVID-19, getting the vaccine will help protect your family, friends and overarching school community.

Oregon public health rules require individual schools to continue to work with local public health officials in responding to cases or outbreaks and, if necessary, switch back to distance learning. Parents and families need to be prepared to return to distance learning, as well.

The best way to protect your kids aged 5 and over is to get them vaccinated. The best tools to protect kids under 5 years of age are vaccines (for their family members and the general public), physical distancing, masks and good hygiene.

County public health officials continue to work with the 170 schools in Clackamas County to ensure safe practices and protocols to allow for safe on-site learning. These safe practices and protocols include:

  • Physical distancing
  • Masks
  • Cohorting as much as possible/assigned seating
  • Hand hygiene
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Airflow and ventilation
  • Effective screening and response to cases, with quick access to testing and implementation of isolation and quarantine

Each school is required to develop and periodically submit an operational plan to the Oregon Department of Education, outlining their plans for adhering to the practices listed above and safely returning students to the classroom for the 2021-22 school year.

School-Related Quarantine

A 14-day quarantine is recommended for all unvaccinated close contacts in any setting, including schools. Close contacts with no symptoms may be permitted to end quarantine after a minimum of 10 days, while continuing to monitor closely for symptoms for the full 14 days. 

While the CDC presents a third option of ending quarantine seven days post-exposure with a negative COVID test on day five or later, local public health authorities are ultimately responsible for establishing local quarantine guidelines. In an effort to maintain the lowest risk of transmission possible, Clackamas County does not support this option. This is consistent with OHA guidance. 

Individuals who are fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks after the second dose in a 2-dose series, or at least 2 weeks after one dose of a single-dose vaccine) will not have to quarantine. Similarly, individuals who previously had laboratory-confirmed COVID-19* and were exposed to another case of COVID-19 within 90 days of their symptom onset or first positive test, whichever is earlier, will not have to quarantine. Individuals who believe they meet this criteria will need to provide proof of their laboratory-confirmed positive test to the school upon being identified as a close contact.

Unvaccinated individuals who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for the recommended 14 days, or a minimum of 10 days, starting the day after last exposure. For many household close contacts, the 10- to 14- day quarantine will begin the day after the ill individual’s isolation period ends. This is due to the high likelihood of ongoing exposure for household members. In total, this equates to a 20- to 24- day quarantine for household close contacts. For more information, visit the Quarantine and Isolation website.  

Quarantine Calendar

All individuals identified as close contacts should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and isolate if they develop symptoms. We recommend all close contacts seek testing 5-7 days after exposure. While a negative test result will not permit a close contact to end quarantine before the minimum of 10 or recommended 14 days, testing after exposure helps to more rapidly identify new cases.

*Laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 means the individual received a positive result from a laboratory-based RT-PCR, other NAAT, or antigen test. Unless performed by prescription, at-home tests cannot be used to confirm diagnosis. Individuals who take an at-home test should seek confirmatory lab-based testing. 

Outbreak Information

If an outbreak occurs in a school, students and staff need to quarantine if they have had an exposure, or close contact, with someone with confirmed or possible COVID-19. Someone is considered “exposed” if they have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for at least 15 minutes with or without masks.* Close contact can also include caring for, living with, visiting or sitting within 6 feet of the confirmed or possible COVID-19 case.

In alignment with recommendations from the CDC, there is an exception from quarantine in the K-12 indoor classroom setting. This exception states that students who were 3 or more feet away from an infected student, where both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting face coverings, are not considered close contacts and would not have to quarantine. This exception does not apply:

Exceptions:

In the K–12 outdoor setting (e.g., recess, outdoor classrooms), the close contact definition does not include students who were within 6 feet of an infected student if both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks.

In the K–12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition does not include students who were 3 or more feet away from an infected student if both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks. This exception only applies in the indoor K-12 classroom setting and not to other school settings like buses, cafeterias, etc.

Note these exceptions do not apply:

  • To students who are exposed to infected teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom or outdoor setting, even if both parties are masked;
  • To adults in the indoor classroom or outdoors who are exposed to an infected person, even if both parties are masked.
  • To exposures that occur during outdoor school athletics training, practices, or games.

*The 15 minutes do not need to be continuous; they can accumulate throughout the day. For example, 5 minutes in the morning in close contact with a COVID-19 case and then 10 minutes during lunch in close contact with a COVID-19 case would qualify as close contact

Masking in Schools

On Sept. 3, 2021, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) amended OAR 333-019-1015 to require face coverings in all K-12 indoor school settings, and in all outdoor K-12 school settings when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained between individuals. This rule applies to public, private, parochial, charter, youth corrections education programs, and juvenile detention education programs or alternative educational programs offering kindergarten through grade 12 or any part thereof.

The rule requires all individuals five years of age and older to wear a face covering while indoors in a K-12 school setting, regardless of vaccination status, when:

  • At school during regular school hours;
  • Engaged in educational activities, such as field trips or off-campus classes, during regular school hours; and/or
  • At school engaged in educational activities outside of regular school hours.

Additionally, this rule requires all individuals five years of age and older to wear a face covering while outdoors in a K-12 school setting, regardless of vaccination status, when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. This includes, but is not limited to: athletic events, performances and open houses and school carnivals.

Despite masks being required for all individuals as described above, it is important to note masks are NOT a substitute for physical distancing. Layering additional health and safety measures against COVID-19 in addition to masking (such as maintaining at least 3-6 feet of physical distance) is still highly recommended to protect students and staff.

Back to School Layers

A face covering will not have to be worn when an individual is:

  • Actively eating or drinking;
  • Sleeping;
  • Playing a musical instrument that requires using the mouth;
  • Engaged in a sport during physical education class such as swimming, other water sports, or one where wearing a face covering could be a strangulation hazard such as gymnastics or wrestling;
  • Is in a private, individual workspace;
  • Is under five years of age (unless the individual is riding public transportation, like a school bus, in which case individuals two years of age and older are required to wear a face covering); and/or
  • Is practicing or playing a competitive sport at any level. However, Clackamas County Public Health recommends wearing face coverings when feasible, such as when not actively participating in a competitive sport (i.e., on the sidelines). 

Child care and youth programs will continue to follow existing OHA mask guidance.

Note that under the statewide masking requirements for indoor and outdoor spaces (OAR 333-019-1025), masks or face coverings must be worn during events that occur after regular school hours like school board meetings, parent teacher conferences, staff meetings, etc. This applies to all individuals 5 years and older, regardless of vaccination status.

 

COVID-19 and Your Mental Health

Even if you are struggling just a little bit, Clackamas Safe+Strong can help. Email safestrong@clackamas.us or call 503-655-8585. You can schedule free, confidential services at 503-722-6200 from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For Youth

YouthLine 
YouthLine is a free, confidential teen-to-teen crisis and help line. No problem is too big or too small for the YouthLine. Teens are available to help daily from 4-10pm PST. Adults are available by phone at all other times. YouthLine listens, supports, and maintains your confidentiality.
Call 1-877-968-8491 Text ‘teen2teen’ to 839863
Chat online

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is an awesome resource and a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth to reach out for 24/7 support.
Call 1-866-488-7386 or text ‘START’ to 678-678

For Adults Who Support Young People

Oregon Family Support Network
Oregon Family Support Network has family support specialists who can work with you and support you from a position of lived experience raising children with behavioral, emotional or mental health challenges.

Reach Out Oregon
Reach Out Oregon offers many different ways (phone, text, a discussion forum, online Zoom discussion groups) to connect with a community of parents with lived experience of raising children with behavioral, emotional or mental health challenges.

Safe and Strong
Safe and Strong has resources to get through COVID-19 safely so you, your family and our communities stay strong.

Reopening Plans

To learn more about your school district’s plan for reopening for the 2021-22 school year, please see your school district’s website.

Contacts

Clackamas County-specific questions:

General Ready School, Safe Learners initiative questions:

Office Hours:

Clackamas County Call Center
503-655-8224
Monday to Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Vaccine questions?
COVIDVaccine@clackamas.us

Regional Information
2-1-1

Clackamas County Crisis and Support Line
503-655-8585

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK