SALEM, Ore. -- Due to guidance issued by Governor Kate Brown and state public health officials, many local school districts began to cancel all "non-essential" school events and trips on Thursday morning for the foreseeable future.
On Thursday night, that guidance became mandated closures for all K-12 schools in Oregon from Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31.
This is a trying time for our community and I am reluctant to increase the burden on families who are already struggling during this crisis. I want to thank all of the teachers and school employees who have worked hard to keep our schools open until now. https://t.co/7l4l5BwDDY— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) March 13, 2020
We teamed up with @OHAOregon to provide the latest information and resources on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Check out our new webpage here: https://t.co/sEfnJbANL7— OR Dept of Education (@ORDeptEd) March 3, 2020
It includes a link to OHA's resource page that includes fact sheets in multiple languages: https://t.co/CrnvMF7qVM pic.twitter.com/tdHqPO3cF1
While the closures may impact school plans issued prior to Brown's Thursday night announcement, a number of announcements related to canceled activities and other measures may be found below:
St. Mary's School
As part of the plan for continuing education, St. Mary’s School has been preparing for the high possibility of a campus closure by dedicating a day of teacher inservice to practice online teaching and classwork. In response to Governor Kate Brown’s order, St. Mary’s will close its physical campus and move to our online teaching platform on Monday, March 16. While many schools throughout Oregon are simply adding an extra week of Spring Break, St. Mary’s move to conduct classes via our online platform will allow our students to continue studies uninterrupted through the end of the current mod, which is Tuesday, March 24.
St. Mary’s School feels that it is in the best interest of our students to continue classes and coursework in as normal a fashion as possible; we are pleased to be able to offer this online learning platform to our students. We recognize the move towards online learning shows immense collaboration on the part of our students, parents, and the faculty and staff of St. Mary’s School and appreciate this effort to keep the continued education of our students a priority.
Ashland School District
Out of an abundance of caution, the Ashland School Board has decided to cancel classes next week (March 16-20). Spring break already was scheduled for March 23-27. Thus, next week’s closure will result in a two-week spring break for students. At this point, we expect to resume classes on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
We are not aware of any cases of COVID-19 in Ashland, and we do believe students are safe in our schools. However, based on the experiences of other communities that have been affected, it is clear that reduced public interaction slows the spread of the virus.
Next week, district staff will focus on planning and preparing for the possibility of online or other alternative ways to deliver education in the event that schools are closed at some point in the future.
We know that childcare is a top concern for families. We are working with our community partners to determine what supports can be provided during this time. The Ashland School District is committed to providing more information as soon as it is available in the coming days.
Other Important Information:
- Due to a previously scheduled inservice day on Monday, March 16, the Ashland School District will be serving breakfasts and lunches Tuesday through Friday, March 17-20.
- Based on guidance issued this morning by Governor Brown, the Ashland School District is canceling all nonessential after-school activities, effective March 13 through April 8. We are awaiting information as to whether this guidance includes OSAA sports.
- The SAT testing for this Saturday, March 14, at Ashland High School will continue as scheduled. The district will provide adequate social distancing for the test takers.
We cannot overstate our appreciation for the collaboration and understanding of our Ashland community as we work through the daily challenges COVID-19 has presented us. We are committed to keeping the community updated with information as soon as it becomes available. We will be posting the lastest information on the district’s response to the COVID-19 virus on the Ashland School District website.
Grace Cascade Christian Schools
We are asking for the support of every family as we close school next week—much like a snow week—to conduct a deep cleaning on each campus and offer staff training for the week before and during Spring Break (March 17-28). Please send your children to school for the half day tomorrow but be prepared to pick them up by 12:15pm, so all staff can assemble for training.
Secondary students should plan to clear out their lockers on Friday. MS students will be given specified times to do so. Sports practices will take place on Friday and we will apprise athletes and parents of the schedule moving forward. EE will remain in session on Friday but not the following week. A refund will be given to all EE families for this unexpected cancellation of services. The MS musical will be rescheduled to a later date. The Fifth grade OMSI trip is cancelled.
Parents and secondary students will be kept informed through FACTS. Next week, staff will receive training in a response to a pandemic and how best to provide an online education should this become necessary. We are investigating procedures for AP classes and will keep those impacted apprised.
Elementary students should plan to take home their math and reading books and Bible workbooks on Friday. Parents can expect learning packets to be available through email or via ParentsWeb so learning can continue, should Oregon schools experience a mandatory shut down on or after March 30. We anticipate school being in session after Spring Break but need to be prepared if not.
We realize and apologize for the late notice of this unexpected request. We are taking this preemptive posture to ensure the well-being of every student and family in our small community
Klamath Community College
The state does not recommend that Oregon’s colleges close at this time, and KCC will stay open and operational. However, based on the guidelines, KCC will cancel any field trips or off-campus group activities for classes and student clubs. KCC will also implement distancing measures, including increasing physical space between employees in offices and worksites, limiting in-person meetings, limiting travel when necessary, and staggering work schedules when possible. The college does not currently have any large gatherings of 250 people or more planned to take place in the next four weeks.
In response to COVID-19, KCC Facilities staff is spending extra time cleaning campus buildings, making high traffic areas and common touchpoints a high priority. Additional supplies for sanitizing buildings are being used for the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
As of March 12, one case of presumptive COVID-19 has been confirmed in Klamath County. The case is not related to the KCC campus. The College is currently monitoring news coverage and recommendations at the state and local level.
Oregon Institute of Technology
Effective March 23 Oregon Tech is implementing Social Distancing guidance including:
- University Events: Nonessential employee, department or other university sponsored gatherings will be limited, with an appropriate exception process for academic delivery and select gatherings.
- Sporting Events: The NAIA athletic conference is suspending all sports until March 29 or pending further developments.
- Campus Housing: All student housing facilities will remain open and in normal operations, utilizing social distancing and other precautions.
- Employee Travel: Nonessential employee travel will be curtailed to the extent feasible.
- Continuity of Work and Remote Work: When feasible, and with prior approval, employees may be permitted to work remotely.
Social distancing guidance will be evaluated on a frequent basis and adjustments will be communicated to the campus community.
Oregon Tech communicated specific guidance for students and employees regarding Spring Term (Effective 3/30):
- Classes: Spring Term lecture classes will be delivered remotely wherever feasible for at least the first two weeks of classes from 3/30 to 4/10/2020. Additional information will be communicated to students and faculty by Oregon Tech’s Office of the Provost.
- Labs: Laboratory instruction will continue to be offered in their current modality and as scheduled, with efforts made to employ social distancing practices.
- Computer Labs: Select computer labs will remain open for student use during Spring Term to ensure all students have access to courses delivered remotely.
- Clinics Operations: Clinics run by Oregon Tech will continue normal operations until further notice.
- Student Externships: Students externships and co-ops will continue; guidance will be updated on a regular basis by the department, and the extern partner in consultation with the Office of the Provost.
- Evaluating Further Steps: Each of these steps will be reevaluated on a frequent basis and adjustments will be communicated to the campus community.
Southern Oregon University
- Finals will proceed as scheduled. We are making remote options available to faculty members to use where feasible. If remote exams are not feasible, we will ensure social distancing measures are met.
- We are extending this year’s spring break for students by one week – it will begin on Monday, March 23, and spring term classes will start on Monday, April 6. Our goal is to allow additional time for the curve of the virus’s spread to flatten and also to give our faculty members an opportunity to plan and develop options for spring term remote course delivery.
- Our residence halls and the Hawk dining commons will remain open through spring break for those students who choose to remain on campus.
- Faculty members are being asked to prepare for remote delivery of instruction in all courses where feasible. Remote instruction – whether online, video conferencing or other methods – will help to limit opportunities for virus transmission in group settings.
- Spring term will still finish on time for our commencement on Saturday, June 13.
- We are asking all supervisors and managers to enable employees to work remotely where feasible. We believe this will limit chances for the virus to spread within our campus community.
- We are limiting all non-essential SOU-related travel. To help slow the spread of COVID-19, we encourage our Raider Family to avoid personal travel outside of our region.
- SOU will cancel non-essential SOU activities, events and gatherings that do not allow individuals to maintain a distance of three feet or more from one other. This includes cancelling audience admission at intercollegiate athletics and activities, except for student participants, essential personnel and credentialed media – and the NAIA has cancelled all currently scheduled events.
- In order to protect our audiences, students and employees from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University is temporarily postponing, until further notice, all performance and museum events on campus with anticipated gatherings of 20 or more people.
- We are encouraging the use of remote meetings whenever possible, and are limiting all non-essential meetings to no more than 20 people. When in-person meetings are necessary, we are asking the meeting organizers to arrange spaces that can accommodate three times the number of invited attendees, to allow adequate room for social distancing.
- All SOU-sponsored international programs and trips are being suspended until further notice.
Our hope is that these additional steps will help to slow the progression of the virus in our region and onto our campus, enabling health care professionals to keep pace and gain an upper hand. We will continue to keep our campus community informed of developments that may affect SOU.
Medford School District
The governor and health authorities are currently recommending that schools stay open. In order to minimize potential opportunities for the virus to spread, they are also recommending that we cancel or postpone events that bring large groups of students, adults, and community members together.
Suspension of non-essential, school-based activities and after-school activities begins immediately, effective Thursday, March 12, and will remain in effect until further notice. This includes:
- The suspension of all assemblies and events (such as plays, concerts, and dances), as well as off-campus field trips.
- Regarding athletics, we are following state guidance denying audience admission at all school-based events, with the exception of essential personnel and credentialed media. Spring sports practices are continuing, but we are awaiting guidance from the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) for further guidance including information about spring competitions.
- Minimizing outside community rentals of our facilities.
- Please call your school if you have questions about specific activities and events.
In an effort to limit the number of people in our schools, we are currently suspending non-essential volunteers and visitors. We truly appreciate our volunteers and thank them for all they do. Parents and guardians, please make an effort to drop-off and pick-up students outside.
Eagle Point School District
This morning, Governor Brown announced new guidance concerning how public institutions should address the COVID-19 virus. While the number of diagnosed cases is increasing in Oregon, at this time we are not aware of any cases that have been diagnosed within the Eagle Point School District boundaries. Eagle Point Schools will remain open. We will be taking the following preventive actions:
- Large group activities and events will be suspended.
- Non-essential school-based activities, including field trips, professional development activities, student led conferences, plays, assemblies, and concerts will be suspended.
- Athletic events will continue, but we will be following state guidance denying audience admission at all school-based events, with the exception of essential personnel and credentialed media.
- We are using strategies like social distancing and modifying school lunch service procedures to reduce potential contact
- Our increased focus on cleanliness and hygiene in our building will continue
Over the coming days we anticipate this information to be updated. We will be informing you as these changes come in and those decisions are made.
Staff, students, families and our community can best support minimizing the spread of the virus by washing hands frequently, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, and using hand sanitizer. Those experiencing symptoms of the cold or flu should stay at home, only returning to school or work when symptom-free for 24 hours. If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult with a doctor.
Klamath County School District
As per Gov. Kate Brown’s orders last night, all non-essential KCSD school events and trips for today are canceled. The district’s Emergency Response Team is meeting this morning and further information will be released as soon as it’s available. Schools remain open.
Starstruck, an evening out for adults with disabilities, scheduled for Friday, March 12 has been cancelled. The school district’s Klamath County Transition Program cancelled the community event today following new state guidelines to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Brookings Harbor School District
Due to the unprecedented public health crisis caused by COVID-19, Governor Kate Brown and her administration have ordered that all Oregon K-12 schools be closed to students March 16 through March 31. During this extended “Spring Break” all school activities, including athletic events and practices, are canceled. Extending spring break is a preventative measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (also known as “novel coronavirus”) and its impacts on our citizens and health care systems.
Our food service director and community food bank partners have already met to identify strategies to provide meals to students next week and we hope to be able to share details with student families as soon as possible of a process where meals may be distributed and/or picked-up.
Due to the abruptness of the school closure, there will be no required academic work assigned to students to complete online or via packets during the break. We will share more information and resources on this topic as the end of the break nears.
This dynamic and historical public health situation has no precedent and is changing daily. We will do our best to keep families informed on developments. We hope you all stay safe and healthy and we look forward to seeing all our students again on Wednesday, April 1.
Grants Pass School District
Suspension of non-essential school-based activities begins immediately, effective Thursday, March 12, and will remain in effect for 30 days. This includes the suspension of all school-based assemblies and events, off-campus field trips, and professional development meetings and events. With regard to athletics, we are following new state guidance denying audience admission at all school-based events, with the exception of essential personnel and credentialed media. We anticipate this information to be updated soon. The list of affected activities will grow as we work with partners and stakeholders over the coming days. We will update you as we make those decisions. Specific activities already identified include but is not limited to, postponing Academic Masters and cancelling the final weekend of the high school play.
SAT testing at Grants Pass High School will still happen for the upcoming date as we are considering this as essential for students who need this for college applications and admissions.
Parent teacher conferences will be modified and we need to limit the number of additional people entering our school facilities. More information to come on this.
To be clear, we are taking every step possible so that we can continue to provide high-quality education for all of our students and keep our schools open.