What is Ready Schools, Safe Learners?

In accordance with Executive Order 20-29 and Governor Brown’s 12/23/20 decision to transition to advisory metrics, existing OED’s RSSL guidance was updated to Version 5.5.0. Schools that change their instructional model from CDL to On-site or Hybrid must revise their Operational Blueprint using the latest ODE template.  Schools must meet all requirements outlined in sections 1-3 of RSSL.  Any updates to Operational Blueprints must be posted on the district website and sent to the Local Public Health Authority. The current version of RSSL is 6.4.2 (4/2/21).



Reopening Protocols, Templates, and ResourcesClick Here to view your District's Reopening Status


Tanya Frisendahl

Reopening Advisor
Educational Services Team

ODE Reopening Guidance Documents

Date of most recent document/update is listed in (parenthesis). 

  • Graduation Pathways 2021 (03/22/21) – outlines the requirements for the Class of 2021. This year’s highlights include:
    • Credit requirements remain the same. Schools should provide support and ensure opportunities are available for seniors to earn credit for course work or learning.
    • Oregon Essential Skills Assessment and Personalized Learning Requirements are waived.
    • Prioritize on-site learning and support for senior
  • Graduation Ceremonies Guidance for 2021 (03/22/2021) – provides guidelines and examples of safe, year-end school celebrations to honor students.
Reference & Guidance Documents
Equity & Engagement
Collecting Public Feedback
Video Guidance
  • Masks 101 (multiple videos: how to make, how to use, etc)
  • Handwashing
  • COVID Symptoms – CDC (0:21)
  • Ready Schools Safe Learners – training for district, building, and program leaders (8:15)


Cohort Examples
Other Resources

On-Site COVID19 School Testing Requirements – Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance for how to implement on-site testing in K-12 facilities. (2/10/21)

  • See page 17 of RSSL to determines if a school is required to offer this program.
  • Changes between the 2/10/21 and 1/19/21 version are limited to page 12, specimen disposal. See crosswalk of changes here.

OHA K-12 Reporting Portal – Daily reporting of all positive and negative results through the OHA K-12 Reporting Portal OHA requires all COVID-19 test results, both positive and negative, to be reported daily. Schools must submit all test results through the portal.

Supplemental Forms

Abbott BinaxNOW Testing Log (2/20/21) – Results of each test must be promptly logged.  Testing logs must be kept in a secure location and may be audited by OHA. Jackson County schools must use the Jackson County log below. 

COVID19 Testing K-12 Registration Form (2/20/21)

COVID19 Testing Consent Form – All students must have written consent on file prior to COVID-19 testing; staff may give verbal consent at the time of testing. Staff are not required to have a consent form on file in order to be tested for COVID-19. (2/20/21)

Understanding your Positive COVID19 Result (2/25/21)

  • English – .doc
  • Spanish – .doc

Understanding your Negative COVID19 Result (2/25/21)


ODE Update  (2/9/21)

The release of Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance on 1/19/21 included information and requirements related to a new Oregon Health Authority (OHA) administered school testing program for COVID-19 using BinaxNow Antigen tests. 252 schools are now registered, many actively implementing the testing strategy as outlined by OHA.

This testing program is available to all public and private schools in Oregon. It is required in some cases, but recommended for all schools operating in-person. It is a service to students and staff that can help to reduce disruption from COVID-19.

Key information about the program:

  1. Schools that choose to operate in-person through an On-Site or Hybrid Instructional Model in a county not meeting the metrics must offer the new school testing program by March 1 or by the time that decision would come into effect (if after March 1).
  2. Schools required to offer access to this program will have two-weeks to be registered, trained, and administering the program when or if metrics change in their county in a way that makes this program a requirement.
  3. The metrics found in the 0 Section, on page 17, of RSSL are what determines if a school is required to offer the program.
  4. The school testing program offers an additional risk-mitigation strategy that is relatively low-burden and can help offset impacts of operating when community spread is higher even if school transmission is low/absent and RSSL protocols are firmly in place. This requirement applies anytime a school is operating in an Instructional Model that is not aligned with the county metrics case data. This is true whether your school began operating in August/September, or took a pause, or opened on January 4th, or is just opening for the first time.
  5. This program is required for schools operating grades 6-12 in-person while in the Transition (Orange) column of the advisory metrics. While the metrics are advisory for determining instructional model, the testing program must also be offered if you are expanding grades while in the Transition (Orange) or Distance Learning (Red) columns and for all schools operating in-person while in the Distance Learning (Red) column.
  6. Access to testing needs to be offered on-site at each school. Staff who work across schools may administer the testing program; however, exposed/symptomatic students and staff should not travel between schools for a test. For example, staff administering the program across multiple schools could be assigned to schools within very close distance (within 5 minutes) and could travel to offer the test.
  7. School districts that have a school based health center (SBHC) that offers on-site testing for COVID-19, even if it is at another campus, may opt out of the requirement for offering on-site testing using BinaxNOW if testing is available during all hours students are on campus during school hours and the school can offer transportation to the SBHC for families without the means to get to the site. There are important details about how this should be done which include:
    1. Ensure face coverings.
    2. The passenger should sit as far away as possible from the driver.
    3. The bigger the vehicle, the better, to allow distancing. Vans are better than cars since they allow for better distancing between the passenger and driver.
    4. Travel with windows open or use the vehicle’s vents for fresh air circulation.
    5. Avoid picking up other passengers.
    6. Clean and disinfect the vehicle after transporting passengers who are suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19.
    7. Follow cleaning and disinfection procedures every time. Doors and windows should remain open when cleaning the vehicle. When cleaning and disinfecting, wear disposable gloves that are meant to be used with the cleaning products as well as a mask. After cleaning, remove gloves and throw them in the trash.
    8. Consider these additional transportation recommendations from the CDC.
Notes on the OHA On-Site Testing Guidance

The testing program guide was updated on 2/10/21 with the following small changes:

  • When registration forms are submitted for the entire school district rather than individual schools, OHA cannot determine the number of testing kits that should be allocated for each specific school. Also, data must be collected on each school that’s participating, (i.e. the total number of students and staff onsite, onsite testing personnel name, school grade, contact information, etc.).
  • An “indeterminate” result can be indicative of a flawed test kit. After the school testing administrator repeats it a second time and receives this result, they should immediately contact OHA at schooltesting.covid@dhsoha.state.or.us to request a new kit.

You can email schooltesting.covid@dhsoha.state.or.us for more information on this aspect of the program.

Any formal complaints regarding schools who are required to offer access to the testing program will be processed through OSHA.

ODE Training Resources

ODE provided a closed captioned recording of a webinar provided by Dr. Judy Guzman-Cotrill titled,  “A Review of BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Testing in K-12 Schools.”

This training covers essential information for offering access to the Oregon Health Authority coordinated school testing program.

In addition, the presentation slides and an FAQ are available.

Click here for the presentation slides and an FAQ.

Current Athletics Status

On February 10, 2021, Governor Brown announced that outdoor contact sports will be permitted to resume with health and safety protocols in place based on county risk level. Read the full announcement here.

School districts and private schools who opt-in to K-12 full-contact sports when their county is designated as “extreme” or “high-risk” per the Governor’s Risk and Protection Framework follow the below steps. Click here to view an online map of county status.

RESOURCE: K-12 School Sports Guidance – Per the Governor’s Office, OHA, OSAA (2/10/21).


Reinstating Full-Contact Athletics

If you are a school, please follow the below steps to submit the contact sports form as required in the OHA guidance.

  1. Download and complete this Contact Sports Form template.
  2. Upload and post your completed form on your school or district website that is publicly accessible.
  3. Have the link where your form is posted ready to share with ODE. You should choose a link that will stay current if or when you update the form.
  4. Complete this simple ODE form while providing the link to your posted contact sports form where it lives on your own school or district website.

* Note: If you don’t have a school or district website, you can email the completed form to ODECOVID19@ode.state.or.us

More K-12 sports guidance:
District Plans (as of 2/20/21; see statewide here)

Where do I get cleaning & maintenance supplies?

School facilities are the responsibility of the local school district and as such they are responsible for cleaning the buildings. Because this is a local control issue, the state does not have systems in place to provide additional supplies to districts.

Try these options for more information:

  • Oregon School Facilities Management Association. They provide peer to peer information sharing and resources. Districts can get advice from other districts about how to address potential shortages of cleaning supplies.
  • ORPIN. This is the public procurement network that public agencies, including school districts can use. Districts may be able to find cleaning supplies on this network that can help address any potential shortages.
  • Local county emergency managers.

Where can I find the reopening status of a specific school district? 

Click here to view an online map.

Are face coverings required? 

Yes: Effective 7/24/20, face coverings are required for all students over 5 and all staff.

Transportation (school bussing) has additional requirements. See Transportation Requirements per CDC (1/29/21).

What are the physical distancing requirements? 

As of 3/22/21, the restriction was changed from 6 feet to 3 feet.

Key updates to Ready Schools, Safe Learners include:

  • Elementary schools must maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students to the maximum extent possible.
  • Middle and High School must maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students to the maximum extent possible, when the county case rate is <200 (green level on the metrics chart in Section 0).
  • Middle and High School must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance between students to the maximum extent possible, when the county case rate is ≥200 (yellow and red levels on the metrics chart in Section 0).
  • All schools must maintain 6 feet between staff at all times and 6 feet between staff and students to the maximum extent possible.
  • Removal of the 35 sq ft per person requirement and other physical distancing changes are documented in the RSSL guidance.

Why has the Executive Order on school reopening changed? 

More research and data have surfaced about COVID19 transmission rates and methods in schools. Based on these findings, the Governor has determined that RSSL decisions may be made at a local level. Here is a summary of some of the findings (not an exhaustive list).

What has changed?

Each school now has a designated and simple process that allows for named and anonymous sharing of concerns that can be reviewed on a daily and weekly basis by the designated RSSL building point-person. Example: Anonymous survey form or suggestion box where at least weekly submissions and resolutions are shared in some format.

What about school sports? 

Governor Brown made an announcement 2/10/21 allowing limited returns to school athletic programs. For more information, see the “Sports” tab to the left.

What should I do if I don’t think my child’s school is in compliance with RSSL guidance? 

If you believe a school is not in compliance with the RSSL guidance you can file a named or confidential complaint with Oregon OSHA at 1-833-604-0884 or online.

Can’t find your answer? Search this list of FAQs from ODE.


What is an Operational Blueprint? (1/18/21)

An Operational Blueprint is essentially your plan for resuming school activities. It is due by August 15 or the start of school, whichever is earlier.

How do I know which model to choose? 

There are three instructional models for schools in the 2020-21 school year:

  1. On-site
  2. Hybrid, and
  3. Comprehensive Distance Learning (full requirements here)

Note: If you are changing your instructional model, a new Operational Blueprint may need to be completed. Please contact us for more information.

You can start by looking at this Decision Tree.

Don’t know which method to choose? Use the chart below.

SOESD Blueprints

SOESD provides evaluative services in our offices, as well as direct student instructional services in the schools of the districts we serve. Each district we serve submits a blueprint for each of their schools where we may serve students. SOESD’s other direct instructional services for students are outlined in separate SOESD blueprints here.

Other School Plans


Community Christian Academy

The blueprints for all the districts in southern Oregon (and the state) are located on ODE’s web site.


SOESD assists districts with preparing and updating blueprints with resources available in the Operational Blueprint Templates and Protocols available through the button below.