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:

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.

Respectfully,

Jon Zwemke, Superintendent

Reedsport School District 105

Frequently-Asked Questions

  1. How is COVID-19 Spread and what are the symptoms? 
  2. 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:

  • fever
  • cough
  • 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. 

  1. Why wouldn’t you close the school to avoid having so many people in one place? 
  2. 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. 

  3. What exactly do you mean by enhanced cleaning?
  4. We are scheduling additional custodial to come in nightly to conduct an additional cleaning of the building today – focusing on high touch point areas. 
  5. 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?
  6. 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 countiesOregon Health Authority: healthoregon.org/coronavirusCenters 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

Business Office

100 Ranch Road

Reedsport, OR 97467

PH: 541-271-3656

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Office Hours

Mon-Fri

8:00am-5:00pm

District Schools

Reedsport Community Charter School

Highland Elementary School