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Oregon Second-to-Last Re-opening Schools
Keeping primary schools closed linked with declining mental health

A tracker from Burbio on K-12 school openings ranks Oregon second to last in the country.

Burbio.com aggregates school, government, library and community event information and consists of more than 80,000 K-12 school calendars from all fifty states.

The extensive amount of time that Oregon students have attended school from home may have serious implications for their academic success and mental health. Even a hybrid schooling method still requires a significant amount of time at home:

“Beginning in April 2020 the proportion of children’s mental health-related ED visits among all pediatric ED visits increased and remained elevated through October. Compared with 2019, the proportion of mental health-related visits for children aged 5-11 and 12-17 years increased 24 percent and 31 percent respectively.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 13, 2020.

“These findings suggest that the decision to close US public primary schools in the early months of 2020 may be associated with a decrease in life expectancy for US children.” – University of Washington, Seattle and University of California, Los Angeles, November 12, 2020.

Most states in the country have been reopening after numerous studies point to safe conditions that would allow willing students to attend school in-person with minimal COVID-19 risks:

The CDC guidance, under President Biden, recommends that schools can reopen with successfully implemented mitigation strategies.

“Our data indicate that schools can reopen safely if they develop and adhere to specific SARS-CoV-2 prevention policies.” – American Academy of Pediatrics, January 6, 2021.

“...we see no indication that in-person school re-openings have increased COVID-19 hospitalizations in the counties below 36-44 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 per week. Neither the levels nor the trends change in any direction when schools open in [counties below 36-44 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 per week], even as far as 6 weeks after schools reopened. In fact, we often see precise estimates suggesting declines in hospitalizations in these low-baseline COVID-19 counties…” – National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH), Tulane University, January 4, 2021.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The negative academic effects of at-home learning still have not been adequately measured in Oregon, and plans to do so have been delayed. Miguel Cardona, the Secretary of Education selected by President Joe Biden, this week affirmed the need for standardized testing when saying that student data obtained from the tests is important to help education officials create policy and target resources where they are most needed. “We have to make sure we laser-focused on addressing inequities that have existed for years. … Every bit of data helps,” added Cardona during a legislative conference.

Even 2020 high school graduation rates are misleading since the Oregon Department of Education drastically altered its graduation standards. As recently as 2017, Oregon had the second-worst graduation rate in the country, and the true extent of negative impacts from at-home learning on graduation rates is not clear.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-27 10:00:23Last Update: 2021-03-27 10:14:10



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