Oregon sees 'strong possibility' that schools will stay closed until summer, districts roll out remote learning

Local school districts are preparing for their individual online engagement with students as it looks increasingly likely that Oregon schools won't re-open for the rest of the year.

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 2:54 PM
Updated: Mar 31, 2020 3:54 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Addressing the superintendents and principals of Oregon public schools on Monday night, state officials underlined the "strong possibility" that schools will remain shuttered for the remainder of the academic year.

With that likelihood in mind, Oregon is pushing ahead with what they're calling "Distance Learning for All" — a statewide effort to implement education at a distance that nonetheless will have to be handled on a district level.

"Of course, education without face-to-face interaction between students and teachers will look and feel different and cannot be fully replicated across a distance. It will not and cannot happen overnight," said Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education. "We need the grace and patience of our state’s leaders, our communities, our families, and our educators as we learn together to move powerfully to ensure care, connection, and continuity of learning happen in entirely new ways for our students."

For most school districts in southern Oregon, plans for remote education opportunities have been underway for at least a week.

On Tuesday, the Central Point School District announced "D6 Connected," its answer to online learning that will launch on Wednesday. Preparation has included the launch of a new website that will link to each individual school and online lessons.

"The heart of ​D6 Connected is our program to give​ every D6 student access to meaningful and engaging remote learning while maintaining their teacher and school connections​," the District said in a statement.

The program promises a single point of contact for every student; tech support for students, staff, and parents; academic support and counseling for children; information on the bus deliveries of food and education materials; and curriculum development and instruction by Central Point teachers.

Meanwhile, Medford School District has been working on getting Google Chromebooks out to students who need them so that they can launch their own distance learning program — bolstered by "Anywhere Learning TV," which launches on April 6 and will air on NewsWatch 12. In the meantime, Medford already has a website up with resources available.

Ashland Public Schools announced its supplemental education program, slated for launch on Wednesday. Ashland's effort has been aided by an offer of free internet for students and staff that need it through the city's fiber broadband network. Individual schools are contacting students with the details for those learning assignments, whether through the internet or paper packets.

"Please remember that supplemental education is different from online learning," the District said in a letter to families. "We will not be taking attendance, tracking IEP goals, or assigning grades during this time. We will be providing content, resources, and personal outreach to focus on the essential knowledge and skills your child needs."

Colt Gill from OED underlined that not all distance learning be online, but that there are opportunities for districts to provide distance learning through a variety of means, in a way that will serve all students.

"Our children and educators deserve more than we can provide right now; we must let this thought drive our innovation and help us strive to overcome disparities and build resilience in our students and educators," Gill said. "This effort will call on all our creativity and talents as well as deep partnership with families to reach all students to provide care, connection, and continuity of learning."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4474

Reported Deaths: 159
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah122462
Marion101126
Washington75518
Clackamas33312
Deschutes1330
Umatilla1243
Linn1219
Polk10012
Lane803
Yamhill757
Jackson690
Benton575
Jefferson460
Clatsop450
Klamath440
Malheur320
Coos320
Wasco291
Douglas280
Hood River280
Lincoln230
Josephine231
Columbia160
Morrow120
Curry70
Crook70
Union60
Tillamook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 122168

Reported Deaths: 4444
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles596922532
Riverside8303345
San Diego7798283
Orange6783165
San Bernardino5650209
Alameda364197
Santa Clara2850144
San Francisco264443
Imperial249330
Kern246245
San Mateo224484
Tulare208392
Fresno194437
Santa Barbara171414
Contra Costa154738
Sacramento149058
Ventura119035
Kings11876
San Joaquin102436
Stanislaus79230
Monterey62110
Sonoma5934
Solano55922
Marin52517
Merced3107
San Luis Obispo2881
Placer2599
Santa Cruz2192
Yolo21624
Madera1293
Napa1263
Humboldt1044
El Dorado980
San Benito962
Butte601
Nevada491
Sutter482
Del Norte470
Shasta404
Mono371
Mendocino330
Yuba311
Lake300
Inyo201
Glenn170
Calaveras160
Mariposa161
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Colusa70
Tehama61
Tuolumne50
Lassen50
Plumas40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
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