Gov. Kate Brown today announced a month-long extension of Oregon’s statewide school closure, which now must remain closed until at least April 28, in a continued effort to stem the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19.
This is an addition to an initial two-week closure of Oregon’s schools that would have ended on March 31.
Her new orders and guidance for public schools across Oregon includes that while school facilities are to remain closed until April 28, districts must provide “learning supports and supplemental services to students and families” during the closure, including meals and child care.
This includes the delivery of food assistance and offering child care for essential health care professionals and first responders. School districts may also call on public school educators and employees to deliver limited learning and support services.
Gov. Brown is further requiring that each district continue to pay all their regular employees during the closure, and is directing the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services to support public schools in the continuity of mental health services.
“I do not take the decision to extend school closures lightly,” said Gov. Brown said. “This will have real impacts on Oregon’s students, parents, and educators. But we must act now to flatten the curve and slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon, otherwise we face a higher strain on our medical system and greater loss of life to this disease.”
The new executive order may be read in its entirety here.
In a message to Canby School District families Tuesday, Superintendent Trip Goodall confirmed local facilities would remain closed to all students and most staff and the district will continue to provide grab-and-go meals for all children under 18 during the extended closure.
He also said the district’s custodians will continue to deep clean all schools to ensure they remain disinfected for when students and staff return.
“We know this is a trying time and that the closure of our schools is a challenge,” Superintendent Goodall said. “Please know we are doing all we can to plan for our students’ return and are looking for additional guidance from the Oregon Department of Education on how to equitably deliver learning opportunities to all students during this extended closure.”
He encouraged parents to help their children understand the importance of this national health emergency by encouraging social distancing, good hand hygiene, avoiding people who are sick and covering their coughs and sneezes.
He said the district’s website is the best resource for up-to-date information, but that they will also call or text families when the message is urgent.
“I will be in touch with more information as soon as we have a plan to navigate this extended closure,” Goodall said. “Please do what you can to help prevent the spread of this virus.”
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