COVID-19 vs. SCHOOL Update January 24, 2021
With the most recent changes to school guidance released on January 19th, the Reedsport Community Charter School will move forward with a change in its schedule. Beginning on February 1, (the start of second semester,) students in grades 7-10 will attend classes in the building instead of following Red and Black days. This means that if your student came to the building on either a Monday/Tuesday or Wednesday/Thursday pattern, they will now come to the building all four days of the school week. If your family decided that your student would stay home and receive remote instruction, that will still be an option. You may visit with office staff if you have questions about your student’s schedule.
The time schedule will be the same and students will still release at 11:05. 7th period classes will remain remote at this time. Bussing schedules and food service will follow the same schedule. Juniors and Seniors will still follow their previous schedule and come to the building on their scheduled days to maintain their stable cohorts. This means that they attend either on A or B days. Seniors attend Mondays and Wednesdays while Juniors attend Tuesdays and Thursdays.
We are very pleased to continue to find ways to get more students into the school building. It is our belief that the long-term goal is still to find ways to return to “normal” school schedules like what we had prior to the Covid virus outbreaks. Our ability to keep finding ways to open the building is primarily contingent upon the status of the virus within the community of Reedsport. We are proud of everyone who has been working hard to stay safe. Please continue to wear face masks, use social distance, practice good hygiene, and stay home from work and school when you are sick or have symptoms. It is an understatement to say that people are “tired” of the virus and how it impacts our lives. We thank everyone for remaining diligent and strong. We can get through this.
COVID-19 vs. SCHOOL Update December 10, 2020
Update for December 10, 2020
To Reedsport School District Students and Families
Based on our conversation today with that Douglas County Health Department, Reedsport School District learned the following information and has made the following decisions.
We have learned that the high case rate in Douglas County that originated around Halloween has decreased which is good for schools. Our local Community has done a good job of staying home when sick which we know lowers the transmission of the virus.
We have learned that there is still cause for concern despite a slight downward trend in the county case rate. While we are trending the right direction in our numbers, another outbreak can place us back in to metrics that make it unsafe for students to be in school buildings. The numbers coming from the Thanksgiving holiday celebrations indicate that people did better staying home when sick or showing symptoms than they did at Halloween. With more holiday events looming, our individual decisions are very important.
We have learned that in order to return students to the buildings in January and meet Safe Harbor under our hybrid learning model, we need to commit to this action now. This can be seen as a bit of a gamble because another outbreak through our County can put our students back into remote learning in less than a day. I am betting on the community of Reedsport and the people of Douglas County to continue to stay home when sick or showing symptoms and keep one another safe so that students can return to school buildings.
At this time, we have decided that we will not return to the school buildings until after the holiday break which is occurring December 18 – January 3. This is to ensure that the current downward trend continues long enough that we move into a lower metric range. We have also determined that we will return to onsite and in-person instruction beginning January 4, 2021. Both buildings will resume the schedules they maintained before our precautionary move to remote learning happened.
I believe that nearly all of us want to see our kids return to school buildings full time as soon as it is safe to do so. We know that these decisions are not easy for students, staff, and families to deal with or understand. I truly hope that everyone continues to take all the steps necessary to protect themselves, their families, and their community. Selfishly, our school buildings are depending on it.
Thank you for all you do to help with this. It is hard. WE appreciate it. Please stay home when sick or showing symptoms, maintain social distancing, wash your hands, and wear a mask.
COVID-19 vs. SCHOOL Update September 29, 2020
September 29, 2020
RE: Reopening Reedsport School Buildings
We are aware that there is regular and frequent discussion about returning students to the school buildings. This letter will not attempt to detail all of the factors that are individually considered in the decision-making process related to reopening buildings. Instead, we will be focusing on our steps to bring Reedsport students back into Reedsport classrooms.
Based on the data we see now and after discussing with our local public health authority and with approval from the Oregon Department of Education, Reedsport School District is outlining the following plan for students to return to buildings. We expect and support that there are still families who have chosen to keep their students’ home while the pandemic continues. We will continue to support students/families in remote, distance learning within the district. There is individual choice involved in this matter and we will serve our students in the manner in which they have notified us. A big factor that families are considering is the requirement for students to wear face masks/face coverings during transportation and during onsite time in the buildings.
Beginning Monday October 12, students enrolled in Kindergarten through 3rd grade will be scheduled to return to assigned classrooms in Highland Elementary School. These students will be scheduled for daily instruction in the buildings for approximately half of the day. There will be more detail available about this schedule soon. There will be supportive instruction for students during their afternoon/evening time. Additionally, 7th grade students will be scheduled to return to RCCS classes beginning Monday October 12th. In order to comply with social distance and cohorting expectations for safety, these students will either be scheduled to attend Monday/Tuesday beginning (the 12th/13th) OR Wednesday/Thursday (the 14th/15th). Days that students are not assigned to be in the building will still be school days continuing with remote, distance learning. In all cases, these are slow starts to reintroduce students into the buildings and ensure that the systems, protocols, and safety precautions work as expected. We will also continue to monitor technology during this transition. Our goal is to ensure the safety of all students and staff and to begin finding ways to serve our students in the best possible manner.
In select cases, a few students will also be invited to return to the buildings who do not fall within these grade levels. These students meet the Oregon Department of Education’s (ODE) explanation for Limited In Person Instruction (LIPI). There is strict guidance for Reedsport School District to follow by inviting these students back into the buildings. These students/families will be identified and contacted individually following the rules and guidance laid out by the ODE.
Next, starting Monday October 19th, we will expand our opening to include Kindergarten through 6th grade at Highland and the 7th and 8th grade at RCCS. Again, K-6 at Highland will follow an approximate half day schedule which will be detailed soon. There will be supportive instruction for students during their afternoon/evening time. 7th and 8th graders will each be assigned to 2 days of instruction in the building with the remaining days scheduled to continue remote, distance learning. We will continue to monitor safety for all as well as the technology load during that time. Limited In Person Instruction will continue during this week.
Finally, we are looking at Monday October 26th as the date to return all students in all grade levels to the buildings. At this time, it appears that Highland will follow an approximate half day schedule for student in the building with supportive instruction for students during their afternoon/evening time. At RCCS, there will continue to be a model of having students in the building for 2 days and accessing remotely the rest of the week.
We are watching the outbreak of cases in our state and county on a regular basis. There have been many factors since last spring which have caused us to react suddenly and created a need to make changes. This is the best information we have at this time and we feel it is important to provide advance notice for students and families to prepare for these dates. There will be more information coming out regarding these schedules including specific times for buildings.
We also know that several services are going to be adapted in order to make this work. A big example that families and students will notice right away will be the entrance and dismissal patterns will look VERY different this year than in the past. We ask families to plan ahead for things like dropping students off at school and to pay attention to things like parking lot traffic patterns and new drop off locations. We ask students to be prepared to enter the building and to use new patterns to move around within the buildings. There will be a great deal to learn and we will all do our best to communicate frequently so that students/families can prepare.
- K-3 return on 10/12 through 10/16. LIPI will occur as well
- 7th return the week of 10/12 on a Black/Red schedule. LIPI will occur as well
- K-6 return on 10/19 through 10/23. LIPI will occur as well
- 7-8 return the week of 10/19 on a Black/Red schedule. LIPI will occur as well
- K-6 continues. LIPI will occur as well
- 7-12 returns on 10/26 on a Black/Red schedule. LIPI will occur as well
If at any point, the rates of infection become too high or rise too quickly, ODE has guidance about warning community about the possibility of returning to distance/remote learning and guidance about actually returning to distance/remote learning. Once we open our buildings and then if we ever have to make changes back to distance/remote learning models, we will communicate at that time. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
COVID-19 vs. SCHOOL Update June 1, 2020
June 1, 2020
I want to first use this letter to acknowledge what we know; this year has brught loss to us. There has been loss for students, parents, staff and community. We have lost staff members, lost school as we know it, lost jobs in our community, and lost control and certainty in key areas of our lives. It has been hard that we have not been able to easily do what small towns do best, get together, honor our traditions, and share in our successes.
During all of this loss, I want to reinforce that the District stands ready to serve the community and our children. We have done our best to stay connected to ur kids. We want to thank you for the heroic job all ofyou have been doing to support our students as they stay at home for for figuring out whatever it takes to help them get through the remaining school year and head into summer. We will be doing our best to celebrate the class of 2020 in a time when so much has been taken from them. We continue to work toward a plan for what next school year will look like despite uncertinty in public health and budget turmoil.
It saddens me to report that summer school programs have been canceled this summer. There is just no way for us to operate a quality program under the current Governor’s Executive Order and the guidance of Oregon Health Authority and Center for Disease Control. We are hopeful that we can look for ways to reengage with children sooner than later and provide the positive activities that they so desperately need.
A common question that I am hearing is ‘what does school look like next fall?’ The turht is that one one knows for sure. I do know that it will look different than it did before march 12, 2020. I also know that it cannot look the same as it does right now. Despite heroic efforts from teachers, instructional assistants (IAs), administrators, and parents; what we are doing right now is not good enough for our children.
I continue to engage with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), both regional and statewide superintendent groups, political leaders, and my own professional organization to impact the policies that will be subject to during the 2020-2021 school year. ODE currently expects guidance for the fall to be released around June 10, 2020. We will be working throughout the summer to plan and prepare for the coming year. We currently expect to work through the logistical details of changes we can only now guess will be happening. And due to the shrinking State School Fund and a budget that won’t begin to become clear until October, we are certain that the planning we do will need to be flexible and will have to adjust during the year.
I want to publicly thank all of the staff for their incredible work, doing it will great flexibility through these tough times. From the maintenance staff who are working on projects they normally don’t have time for, to the IAs who are spending hours a day on the phone or delivering meals for students, to the kitchen staff changing their service models and feeding all of our community aged 1-18, the office staff continuing to keep the building systems running, to the teachers navigating new technology to stay connected with their students, and to my administrative team who have shown creative leadership under conditions that none of us have ever seen.
Reedsport has experienced great loss this year and been working through difficult times and uncertainty. We are resilient and can get through this and find a better outcome. We will do this because we all keep our kids as the primary focus. We will do this because our kids are depending on us. We will display the grit and spirit that our community is known for. We will do it with the grace, compassion, and empathy we are known for and with a united hope for a better tomorrow. We are in this together!
COVID-19 vs. SCHOOL Update March 13, 2020
As of this time, we know that both Reedsport Schools will be closed to students beginning Monday, March 16. We are still determining what the extent of the closure means and have teleconference meetings this afternoon to learn details. We are developing a plan to provide meals during this time to school aged students. More details will be available over the weekend. Pleae watch Facebook or the district website for these details. Robocalls will also come out when there is new information for families on the website.
COVID-19 vs. SCHOOL Update March 12, 2020
March 12, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This morning Governor Kate Brown released a statement to address the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus in the State of Oregon. She shared that her goal was to slow down the transmission of the disease and preserve hospital’s capacity to effectively respond to potential and/or confirmed cased of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
While there are no confirmed cases in our area the new guidance from Governor Brown and Oregon Department of Education will affect the typical operations of schools. Please note this situation is continuously evolving. We will do our best to provide up to date information as it becomes available. Updated information will be provided on our website, robo caller, and our Facebook pages. At the Governors recommendation the following will be implemented:
Schools will remain open
- All field trips will be cancelled for the next 30 days. Trips scheduled after that time frame will be individually announced or announced at a later date.
- Large gatherings such as music concerts, carnivals, math nights etc. will be cancelled.
- Parent teacher conferences will be held via the phone. Please watch for information on the specifics of scheduling/conducting these meetings.
- Sport competitions will occur without spectators; participants only.
We understand that these announcements are concerning to you. We continue to take precautionary steps to enhance our already rigorous cleaning schedule to include daily disinfecting and sanitizing of all school environments as well as focusing on handwashing and good hygiene practices with students and staff for blowing our nose, coughing, or sneezing. We are also placing reminders for good hygiene practices and supporting our staff and students to frequently use handwashing stations. Please assist us by helping your student remain healthy by implementing the following preventative measures recommended from health officials:
- Practice good hand hygiene and help your student learn to wash their hands really well. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Use Alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. You can also cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
- Avoid sharing drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, dishes, towels or other items. Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after use.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever possible.
- Practice good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
As a reminder it is important to keep students at home when they are ill. Please see the attached handout, “Am I too sick to come to school?” for assistance. If your student has any of the following please keep them home from school: Temperature of 100.4, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, any rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye, and/or drainage from the eye and any contagious illness such as the chicken pox, strep throat or the flu. If you have concerns about your student’s illness, please contact your local health authorities are advising families to seek medical attention.
We encourage you to continue to send your student to school if they are healthy. Should you decide to keep your student at home please call the office to report the absence and develop a plan to ensure you student stays on track with their learning.
For more information on the COVID-19 Coronavirus you may find the following resources helpful:
- County Health Departments of Coos, Curry and Douglas counties
- Oregon Department of Education: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Pages/COVID19.aspx
- Oregon Health Authority: org/coronavirus
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019–ncov/index.html
We know you will likely have many questions and we will attempt to answer some of them below. Please know that we are doing everything we can to keep our students and staff healthy and safe. Thank you for your partnership in that effort.
Jon Zwemke, Superintendent
Reedsport School District 105
- How is COVID-19 Spread and what are the symptoms?
- Although the exact mechanisms of transmission are not fully known, other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:
- the air by coughing and sneezing
- close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes
Infected people have experienced a range of illness, from mild (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.
People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus:
- difficulty breathing
If you have symptoms, call your healthcare provider to identify the safest way to receive care. Let them know if you have traveled to an affected area or come in contact with an ill person who has traveled to an affected area within the last 14 days.
- Why wouldn’t you close the school to avoid having so many people in one place?
- Updated guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and County Public Health is that because COVID-19 is in the community, closing a school may not be an effective method of stopping the spread of the virus.
We will continue with our enhanced cleaning efforts, reinforcing health hygiene expectations with students, and asking students and staff to stay home if they are ill. Those actions are thought to be the most beneficial in keeping people healthy and stopping the spread of the virus.
- What exactly do you mean by enhanced cleaning?
- We are scheduling additional custodial to come in nightly to conduct an additional cleaning of the building today – focusing on high touch point areas.
- I haven’t been asked to self-quarantine by the Health Department, but I’m concerned about my personal medical situation. What should I do?
- Please consult with your medical provider for guidance around your personal situation.
COVID-19 vs. SCHOOl Update March 4, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
With the recent diagnosis of coronavirus in Oregon we are doing everything we can as a district to keep our students safe. Included with this letter is a handout on the COVID-19 Coronavirus, how it spreads, the symptoms and where you can learn more information. While there are no confirmed cases in our community some have hit close to home in Washington and Umatilla Counties and their local districts. While this is a serious public health situation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to communicate thatthe immediate risk to the general public remains low at this time. Yet in today’s connected world, outbreaks of illness are always of concern. As with seasonal flu and strep infections, there are precautions we can all take to remain as healthy as possible. As recommended by health officials preventative measures include:•Practice good hand hygiene and help your student learn to wash their hands really well. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Use Alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. (See attached info-sheet). •When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. You can also cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water. •Avoid sharing drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, dishes, towels or other items. Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after use.•Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever possible. •Practice good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.It is important to keep students at home when they are ill – see the following descriptions. If your student has any of the following please keep them home from school: Temperature of 100.4 or higher, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, any rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye, and/or drainage from the eye and any contagious illness such as the chicken pox, strep throat or the flu. If you have concerns about your student’s illness, health authorities are advising families to seek medical attention. We understand that many of you may have questions about what the district and classroom are doing to address concerns about the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The Oregon Health Authority, is leading the state’s response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. We will follow the direction of public health officials should the illness spread to our area.
As a precaution, we are initiating additional plans for disinfecting and sanitizing all school environments to include all knobs and community surfaces daily and focusing on handwashing and good hygiene practices for blowing our nose, coughing, or sneezing. We are also placing remindersfor good hygiene practices and increasing access to hand sanitizers, tissue and trash cans. You can help by assisting students in washing their hands frequently and practicing the prevention strategies listed above. For more information on the COVID-19 Coronavirus you may find the following resources helpful:•County Health Departments of Douglas and Coos counties•Oregon Health Authority: healthoregon.org/coronavirus•Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.htmlPlease reach out to your student’s school office with questions, concerns or needs.
>> Centers for Disease Control
>> Oregon Health Authority
>> Oregon Dept. of Education
>> Infectious Disease Plan
Reedsport School District 105
100 Ranch Road
Reedsport, OR 97467
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Reedsport Community Charter School
Highland Elementary School