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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: 155315

Reported Deaths: 2208
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31853528
Washington21170212
Marion18416285
Clackamas13357175
Lane10224126
Jackson8377112
Umatilla765182
Deschutes594659
Yamhill377364
Linn358656
Malheur335058
Polk305342
Klamath278955
Douglas246354
Josephine233750
Benton233516
Jefferson195528
Coos148219
Union128419
Columbia126121
Wasco122126
Lincoln113120
Hood River106829
Morrow104714
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6567
Curry4266
Tillamook4142
Lake3756
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3563578

Reported Deaths: 51953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119089421328
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2862912816
Orange2610223904
San Diego2596413271
Santa Clara1104221777
Kern102627826
Fresno952021443
Sacramento931801472
Alameda804961241
Ventura77534844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus56024946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38922515
San Francisco34213410
Santa Barbara31763409
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28063298
Imperial26888591
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15436209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12816185
Shasta10972174
Butte10941160
El Dorado9095100
Napa901469
Sutter884597
San Benito575959
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada395274
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador345741
Humboldt318033
Lake315341
Glenn222023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
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Hi: 56° Lo: 26°
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Brookings
Clear
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Hi: 61° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 52°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 38° Lo: 14°
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Medford
Partly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 58°
Klamath Falls
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 50°
Very mild start to March
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