Oregon schools will remain closed through summer, Governor Brown announces at press conference

Gov. Kate Brown records a video address thanking healthcare workers for their efforts in the COVID-19 crisis.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Kate Brown extended the closure of schools from the previous date of April 28 through the end of the school year.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 1:05 PM
Updated: Apr 8, 2020 3:13 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — At a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Kate Brown announced that Oregon school buildings will remain shuttered through the end of the academic year. The previous closure was set to end on April 28.

The Governor said that the decision arose from an obligation to give parents, educators and students certainty about the rest of the school year.

In the meantime, school staff will continue to work on methods of remote learning for students that are stuck at home during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

“We have Oregon’s students at the forefront of every decision we make about education,” said Governor Brown. “Their health, happiness, and safety is our priority. The best thing we can do for the health of our children, and for the thousands of educators across the state, is to give everyone certainty by announcing the decision today to close in-person classes for the remainder of the school year. School, and learning, will continue as best as we can using remote means.”

Districts were already aware of the prospect that closures could through the end of the year. Addressing superintendents and principals at the end of March, Oregon Department of Education (ODE) director Colt Gill noted that there was a "strong possibility" this would be the case, directing districts to develop their own remote programs to connect with students instead.


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"I know how hard this is on every single Oregonian," said Governor Brown of the state's COVID-19 restrictions. "I also know that the measures we have put into place are necessary actions to save lives."

For high school seniors, Brown said that the Oregon Department of Education has a plan in place to honor the work that students have done through March. All seniors who were on-track to graduate will receive passing grades for their remaining courses and receive a diploma, she said.

For students who were not on-track to pass courses for graduation, Brown insisted that local school districts help to develop alternative learning plans for those seniors to help them succeed in graduating on time.

Almost simultaneously with the press conference, ODE released a statement with a link to "Graduation Pathways 2020," the agency's official guidance for graduating seniors. 

“COVID-19 won’t knock Oregon’s students off their path to graduation,” ODE's Colt Gill said. “This guidance assures our students’ hard earned futures even during this global challenge.”

Gill underscored that the amount of time and learning lost to COVID-19 represented less than two percent of a senior's tenure in education, and shouldn't be held against them.

Brown said that she refuses to "punish students" for outside events affecting the completion of their education. She said that no students hoping to attend Oregon public higher education should have any barriers to entry based on COVID-19's effect on their graduation or high school curriculum.

Oregon's seven public universities and OHSU issued the following statement, in part:

"No student admitted to our institutions for fall 2020 will have their admission rescinded due to changes in grading policy or the inability to complete their coursework, as long as they graduate high school. Students who apply to our institutions are still subject to a review process that focuses on their ability to succeed in college, but the Oregon public universities recognize that some situations are beyond their control."

The Governor also heralded an extended executive order for distance learning through the end of the year at colleges and universities.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060048

Reported Deaths: 74129
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152429427102
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581500
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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