As of Friday afternoon, students in pre-K through sixth grade in Oak Harbor Public Schools will return to hybrid in-person classes on Monday, Jan. 11.
In December, the school board re-evaluated reopening guidelines in an effort to keep students in school.
The school district had been conducting hybrid in-person classes since mid-October but would have needed to send students back to distance learning based on the rising local case counts and its former reopening plan.
The new plan said that as long as less than 3 percent of district staff tested positive during a week of mandatory testing Jan. 4-8, then younger students could return to the classroom.
No staff tested positive for the virus, according to an email sent to parents and families Friday at 4:30 p.m.
“This week we tested 887 staff members for COVID-19 and are happy to report zero positive cases,” Laffey wrote in the email.
Also on Monday, school board members will vote on a decision matrix of how to bring students in grades 7-12 back into the classroom. The matrix was approved by Island County Public Health and includes guidance from the Washington State Department of Health, according to Laffey’s email.
If the plan is approved and all requirements to reopen are met, older students could return to school the week of Feb. 8.
The public school board meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 11. The public can watch a livestream online through the school district’s website: https://www.ohsd.net/Page/8171.
Students and families will be required to respond to a daily health attestation before coming to school or riding the bus, along with other mitigation measures, Laffey’s email said.
“Safety remains our highest priority as we prepare to return students to the classroom,” he wrote.
Two staff members who worked at the Hand-in-Hand Early Learning Center and Home Connection programs, housed in the former Clover Valley Elementary building, previously tested positive in December. Impacted students were told to quarantine but none had tested positive, according to Laffey.
Editor’s note: This story was updated Friday afternoon with information about the final testing results for staff and information about the upcoming school board meeting.