MSD welcomes all students back, first time since pandemic began

MEDFORD, Ore —April 12th marks the first time in over a year students in the Medford School District are heading back to the classroom in-person, full time.

“I’m grateful to be back at class,” said 4th grader, Steven Hall.

Medford mom, Jill Hall has 4 kids in the school district. She says she’s been looking forward to this day for a while since her kids struggled with comprehensive distance learning.

“My two high schoolers were doing class in bed in their pj’s they had no reason to get up, my elementary school child it was hard he was very sad, he was sad on a daily basis,” said Hall.

Medford School District Superintendent Bret Champion says the move to bring students back to campus is in part for their well-being. The Oregon Department of Education made the choice recently to switch the guidelines from 6 to 3 feet distancing, allowing students to fit in classrooms together once again.

“Getting kids back where they have a better opportunity to learn where they are able to be social and interact with their peers which is what the teenage mind is longing for,” said Champion.

On Monday, Hall says her 4th grader woke up with a new attitude and was ready for school at Hoover Elementary. “He got out with a hop, a jump, a smile, and a peace out I’m going to school and it was really exciting because I’ve missed that joy in him that I saw in him today,” said Hall.

Champion says the first full day back went well aside from a few transportation issues. “It’s incredible as you think about the progression we’ve made to get to this point,” said Champion.

Champion says while grades suffered for many students this school year, the district is committed to helping them get their grades up. He also says MSD is offering a summer experience to help get students caught up on any missed credits.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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