COVID-19 cases prompt closure of two Woodland elementary schools

The district is also likely to postpone a planned Sept. 28 launch of in-person classes

WOODLAND — Two elementary schools in Woodland are closed for in-person services after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

Woodland School District. File Photo
Woodland School District. File Photo

In a letter to parents on Sunday, Principal Dave Starkey said staff members at Columbia Elementary School, which is in Clark County, and North Fork Elementary School in Cowlitz County may have been exposed to the virus. 

“The district has directed all staff members from both schools to self-quarantine and work from home until appropriate contact tracing can be completed,” Starkey wrote.

A letter sent to Woodland School District parents by Principal Dave Starkey regarding a COVID-19 outbreak at two elementary schools. Image courtesy Woodland Public Schools
A letter sent to Woodland School District parents by Principal Dave Starkey regarding a COVID-19 outbreak at two elementary schools. Image courtesy Woodland Public Schools

In-person services were being suspended at both schools at least through Tuesday, and possibly longer. Starkey said facilities maintenance staff would be working to perform a deep clean in both schools prior to any students, community, or staff returning to the buildings.

The district said the positive cases would likely delay implementation of a transition to face-to-face classes for elementary students that was expected to begin Sept. 28.

“Due to staff working from remote locations, instruction may look a bit different over the next few days,” said Starkey. “We as a school will do our best to honor our instructional schedules and keep instruction consistent.”

There is no new estimated start date for beginning the transition to in-classroom instruction for the district.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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