LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- On Friday, Governor Kate Brown gave the go-ahead for eligible schools to let elementary kids back in the building, leaving educators and district officials in Lane County with mixed emotions.
Todd Hamilton, the superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, said while Brown gave the OK for all elementary kids to go back to school when the numbers allow, Springfield will start with students in kindergarten through third grade like they originally intended.
"We are continuing to hear from parents and community members and they are indicating a strong interest for the return of in-person learning," Hamilton said.
Now, let's not forget Springfield has been down this road before.
They were back in the classroom for kindergarten and first graders for a week an a half before the health in Lane County started to dip and they had to close their doors once again.
After Brown's announcement, parents took to social media to share their excitement or air their frustrations. Some said that for rural areas, it really doesn't matter because they have been allowed to be open to some degree. Others said they anticipated this flip flopping and pulled their kid out of the public school system.
Educators have had a mixed reaction too.
Sabrina Gordon is the president of the Eugene Education Association. She's a mother and an educator, and she said loosening the metrics feels like a shortcut.
"Knowing all the decisions and workings that have to be made in a school district to make that happen safely, it can’t happen quickly and it shouldn’t happen quickly," said Gordon.
The president of the Oregon Education Association, John Larson, called the announcement "hasty" saying, "it will only serve to further disrupt education for students, families, and educators" -- adding he believes this could force us into another lockdown.
Brown said districts should take this next week to plan and troubleshoot before reopening or opening further.