Coronavirus, FGSD, Schools

FGSD admins ‘optimistic’ changes coming to masking after March 31

Left to right: Melody Haveluck, a board member of Friends of Historic Forest Grove, David Parker, FGSD superintendent, Kate Grandusky, Forest Grove School Board member and Gales Creek resident, Joyce Sauber, Gales Creek resident, FHFG member, and local historian prepare to lay a plaque on the historic Jennie Ranes building August 21, 2021. Photo: Chas Hundley

With the news that the statewide mask mandate in schools ends March 31, Forest Grove School District FGSD Superintendent Dave Parker said he is optimistic that changes to when students are required to wear masks could come soon. 

“However, there are many ramifications (safety, operational, medical and legal issues) that must be taken into consideration before a final decision can be made,” Parker wrote in a letter. “Over the next few weeks, the district will be working closely with Washington County Health, district administration, students, parents and our labor groups to determine how best to proceed,” he said. School districts can maintain their own mask mandates after the state’s mandate ends March 31.

During a district board meeting held virtually Feb. 14, Parker noted that the school district’s use of the state’s “Test to Stay” program, which eases quarantine restrictions could be in jeopardy if the district moves to voluntary masking, and that the district’s liability protection could be adversely impacted as well, but said that the district would be seeking answers to those questions.

We rely on subscribers to keep the lights on in our little newsroom. Join us with a digital subscription today, $15 off right now for your first year with an annual subscription, or $8/a month. Click here to subscribe.

“All of us want to be done with this, and get back to some normal schooling, but we do need to just wait a little bit and see how some of this plays out,” Parker said.

The school board meets next on Feb. 28. 

As of Feb. 8, 51 students and ten staff were listed as having an active case according to the district’s Covid dashboard. None of the cases were at Gales Creek’s Oak Grove Academy, while Dilley Elementary—attended by most Gales Creek elementary school-aged children—reported one student case. Tom McCall Upper Elementary reported four student cases, Neil Armstrong Middle School reported 11 student cases and five staff cases, and Forest Grove High School had 13 reported student cases.

+ posts

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

Sign up for free Gales Creek news in your inbox ↓

The groceries your family needs!

New patients only, no cash value, cannot be combined with any other offers