Return to School

Updated Masking Requirements: May, 2021

En Español
Bend-La Pine Schools’ Families,

With changes to Oregon’s requirements for masking, many of you have raised questions with school and district staff regarding the district’s policies and practices. The purpose of this update is to provide clear information about any changes.


The Oregon Department of Education has announced an update to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners requirements. Masks will NOT be required outside for students, staff, or spectators, including recess, PE, sporting events, or our outdoor graduations, for example. Physical distancing requirements are still in effect.


After-School Athletics, Activities, and Events
Athletes, coaches, officials, participants and spectators who have been fully vaccinated will NOT be required to wear masks. These individuals will need to show proof of vaccination status.

School-Day PE, Recess, and Activities
The Ready Schools, Safe Learners requirement for masking indoors is unchanged: regardless of vaccination status, everyone in schools during the instructional day is still required to wear a mask.


We know already that masks will not be required outdoors. We are hopeful that the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance will not require masking indoors, as well. This will depend on low numbers of individuals testing positive for COVID-19, which will depend most of all on large numbers of eligible individuals getting vaccinated.

The regional High School COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics program has expanded eligibility to provide vaccines for those age 12 and older at new and existing sites, thanks to a partnership with pediatric medical providers and new authorization of the vaccine for those 12 and up. You and/or your student can walk-in to any of our upcoming events in the region.

Thanks, as always, for your support of our students and schools.

May 5, 2021 Schedule update: Message from Interim Superintendent Lora Nordquist

Beginning on Monday, May 10, our teaching and learning delivery model will be adjusted at middle and high schools in response to the current surge of cases in our communities, which is in turn impacting our schools. This change will provide staff additional time to support students both inside and outside of the classroom.

Read more:

Ready for School Checklist

All Bend-La Pine Schools are now open for in-person instruction. We are excited to see students in class.

Every day, be sure to:


Wear a mask: All students are required to wear a mask while at school.

water bottle

Pack a water bottle: Drinking fountains are turned off, but water bottle filling stations are available.


Check for wellness: Students feeling unwell or experiencing any of the following symptoms are expected to stay home: Fever (100.4 or higher) or chills, coughing/shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of appetite or loss of taste/smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.

What happens when there is a positive COVID-19 case in a school setting?

En Español

As schools are reopening for more in-person instruction, we want to take a moment to share details about what to expect when there is a positive COVID-19 case in a school setting. We know many of you may have questions about the process and we want to help explain so that the steps are clear.

Positive Case Notification

When we become aware that a person positive with COVID-19 has been in our school, we will communicate with all school families. This notification is intended to raise awareness and provide transparency and does not imply that there was a close contact exposure with students

It is our hope that these updates will help to keep top of mind the ways that we can all work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and to provide you with timely information about cases in our community that have a nexus to our schools.

We understand that this notification may generate questions or concerns. Most cases of COVID-19 that we have seen to date, among our staff and students, have been community spread. And our safety practices and protocols have helped to reduce spread into our schools.

Once a positive case has been identified, we work quickly to determine if there has been an exposure at school and who, if anyone, is a close contact of that individual.

Contact Tracing

Once a report of a positive case is confirmed, our designated COVID-19 support staff take a look back, 48-hours, from the date of symptom onset (for symptomatic individuals) or the date the COVID-19 test was administered (for asymptomatic individuals). Information is collected and reviewed on staff/student attendance, transportation (bus, carpool), and staff and student interactions to help identify close contacts of the COVID positive individual. After this thorough review, our designated COVID support staff will reach out to identified close contacts and provide instructions for quarantine, based on state and local public health guidelines.

We want our families to know: If your child is ever identified as a being in a cohort where a close contact was made, please know you will receive a separate close contact communication - in addition to the school wide exposure notification. If you do not receive a separate close contact communication from the district, your student has NOT been identified as a close contact of the case. (Close contact: defined as having a cumulative of 15 minutes or more of less than 6-foot distancing within 24 hours)

You can learn more about our processes in detail by reviewing our District’s COVID-19 Communication toolkit.

We are partnering closely with our district’s nursing team and local public health officials who will provide support and direction for managing COVID-19 related scenarios that impact our school community.

Quarantine Instruction

Teachers will continue to provide learning materials and instruction to students who are quarantining. It is possible that an entire cohort or school could be closed due to quarantine requirements. In such cases, learning would continue remotely through Comprehensive Distance Learning.

Additionally, our district has hired 16 new staff members to help support and fill-in for teachers and classroom staff throughout the pandemic, as well as more than 350 individuals from the High Desert ESD substitute pool who have said that they stand ready to help.


We want our community to protect themselves against COVID-19. Here are some ways to protect your family:

✓ Keep children who are sick at home. Don’t send them to school.

✓ Teach your children to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself.

✓ Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of the elbow. Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself.

✓ Limit gatherings and wear masks around individuals outside of your household.

More information can be found on the Oregon Department of Education’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners page, the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 page and our Return to School webpage.

Thank you for doing your part to help make our community safer for students, staff and families.

COVID-19 Communication

Learn more about high- and low-risk symptoms, when to stay home, what happens when there is a positive case and more. Click below or download a copy. Or en Español

Ready Set Learn Communications Guidance

Operational Blueprints for School Reentry 2020-21

Bend-La Pine Schools has created blueprints for the 2020-2021 school re-opening plans. Please click here to view the individual school plans.


Contact Us

Questions? Reach out to us about COVID-19 or questions about returning to school via email:

[email protected]