Pandemic Impact at Schools

Two schools in the St.Helens School District are pausing in-person instruction to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19.

A second school in the St. Helens School District will pause in-person instruction to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Administrators at Columbia County Elementary School at 2000 2nd Street in Columbia City hope to resume regular in-person instruction Oct. 6. Lewis & Clark Elementary School in St. Helens was paused on Monday, Sept. 27.

Columbia City Elementary School Principal Jennifer Vanderschuere has sent the following letter to school parents.

Dear Columbia City Elementary Families,

At this time, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily pause in-person learning at Columbia City Elementary starting on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

Our hope is to return to in-person instruction by Wednesday, October 6, 2021, pending the results of student COVID-19 testing. Our district will continue to work closely with public health authorities and continue to follow their advice and take necessary steps along the way to ensure the safety of students and staff members.

Currently, we have many students out sick with symptoms that could be suspected as COVID-19. We are waiting on confirmed laboratory results, and we will keep everyone updated as we learn more information.

As the school is on pause, we will be taking the extra time needed to clean and sanitize all surfaces while following all guidelines and advice from our local public health authorities to ensure a safe return to school for students and staff. It is our goal to be able to return our in-person learning as soon as possible.

We understand that this decision will have a big impact on your daily routine. We would like you to know that we are committed to the well-being and learning of your child and will be in contact with you on how we will support your student’s learning while at home.

While Columbia City is temporarily on pause, families may pick up meals for students starting on, Wednesday, September 29, 2021, from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm in the front of the building. Meals will include lunch for the same day and breakfast for the following day. In addition, students will be able to borrow Chromebooks from the school. We will also have a drive-thru Chromebook pick-up on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, from 8:30 am - 6:00 pm, and Thursday, September 30, 2021, from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm in front of the building.

We will keep you updated with any new information as it comes out, through phone, email, or the ParentSquare App, while continuing to meet the requirements to honor everyone’s right to privacy.

Please notify your child’s school and Columbia County Public Health if additional household members become ill and/or test positive for COVID-19. Our school will continue to work with the local public health authorities and will communicate the next steps to ensure a safe return to school.

We know this is a hard time for everyone, and our hearts go out to those who are ill.

If you have questions, please contact Columbia City at 503-366-7550 or ColumbiaCounty Public Health at 503-397-7300.

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