UPDATES from Creswell SD • Message from Superintendent Mike Johnson

Dear CSD Parents/Guardians,

As we wrap up spring break week, we want to say thank you for your continued understanding, patience, and help during these past weeks. The following are today’s updates including information about the Remote Supplemental Education Plan, expanded Grab & Go meals and Oregon Department of Education updates for school closure.

Remote Supplemental Education Plan

We appreciate your patience and support while we, like other school districts, adapt our instructional delivery model in line with the Oregon Department of Education’s directives. Next week, we will more fully communicate Phase 1 of our Remote Supplemental Education Plan with our staff and community, which will offer optional supplemental learning opportunities in a manner that aims to respect and mitigate equity gaps, with specific attention to our students with disabilities, our English language learners, our students experiencing housing instability, and the social and emotional well-being of all of our students.

The District is finalizing details for Phase 1 of the Remote Supplemental Education Plan. Next week, we will send families information by level, elementary, middle, and high school with more specific details.

Grab & Go meals

Grab and go meals (breakfast and lunch) will be served curbside at Creslane Elementary School from March 30 to April 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Adjustments to student status

Due to the school closure and ODE direction, we are unable to process student enrollments or withdrawals. We are not able to change student status from inactive to active, but due to the closure, no students will move to inactive status.

Updates and new information from the Oregon Department of Education

RE: Guidance on Long-term School Closure – March 26, 2020

This memo includes:

  • Clarification of responsibilities under Governor Brown’s Executive Orders to close schools through April 28 and for Oregonians to “Stay Home, Save Lives
  • Guidance on the delivery of out-of-school supplementary education and learning supports
  • Survey: Additional Resources and Supplementary Supports
  • Resources for mental health and social emotional support
  • ODE’s suspension of ESSA Assessment and Accountability requirements for the 2019-20 school year
  • Guidance on tracking costs related to COVID-19
  • Information on ADMw calculations for purposes of State School Fund (SSF) distribution under the school closure
  • Guidance regarding virtual charter schools
  • New resources and COVID-19 website improvement

Clarification of School Closure Responsibilities

Initial Closure

On March 12, Governor Brown initially announced a school closure of two weeks for staff and two weeks and two days for students. This initial closure was in consideration of staffing challenges and health concerns due to the public health threat of coronavirus. This closure was replaced and superseded by Executive Order 20-08. The initial announcement should no longer serve as guidance; districts are no longer required to bring all staff physically onsite on March 30 and 31.

Current Closure

On March 17, all public schools, including those operated by school districts, education service districts (ESDs), and public charter schools were closed through April 28 under Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-08. This order is consistent with the mitigation strategies recommended by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) with regard to COVID-19, in order to slow the spread of the disease and to protect Oregonians at the highest risk of contracting the disease.

Under this order schools will continue to receive allocations from the SSF during the closure period if they perform the following services:

  • Deliver supplemental education and learning supports to students to the extent practical through independent study and other appropriate options.
  • Provide school meals, consistent with requirements provided by the Oregon Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Transportation grant funds from the SSF may be used by public schools for delivery of meals.
  • Provide for supplemental services and emergency management services, including but not limited to the provision of child care for first responders, emergency workers, health care professionals, and other individuals, consistent with any guidance and requirements provided by the Early Learning Division. Public schools may use transportation grant funds from the SSF for school district transportation services to support the transportation of children to and from school-based child care.
  • Develop plans for the operation of essential, non-educational services, including food services to students and families.
  • Continue to regularly pay all employees of public schools. A public school subject to this Executive Order may require school employees to report to work to assist with the provision of supplemental services and emergency management activities. However, this should not be construed to require public school employees in at-risk categories, or public school employees who have an at-risk member of their household, to take action inconsistent with public health recommendations or the advice of the employee’s physician.

Simply put, schools are closed for normal operation and, instead, they must pay staff their regular wages to perform new tasks, under new circumstances, in service to their community in unprecedented times. During the closure, schools must provide (to the extent possible) out-of-school supplementary education and learning supports, school meals, and emergency child care. Staff must be available to fulfill these obligations to earn their regular wages.

Stay Home. Save Lives.

On March 23, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-12, titled “Stay Home, Save Lives.” As part of an ongoing effort to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19, this order places restrictions on the activities of all Oregonians.

This order does not change the requirements of Oregon’s school closure under Executive Order 20-08. However, it may change the way school districts, ESDs, and charter schools go about implementing the requirements under the school closure.

Schools must adjust to providing the requirements of Executive Order 20-08 (out-of-school supplementary education and learning supports, school meals, and emergency child care) by:

  • Facilitating telework and work-at-home by employees, to the maximum extent possible. Work in buildings is prohibited whenever telework and work-at-home options are available, in light of position duties, availability of teleworking equipment, and network adequacy. This is clearly not possible for meal preparation and delivery or for the provision of child care. However, in some districts this will be possible for delivery of supplementary education and learning supports and related professional development to support teachers in this new way of delivering education.
  • When telework and work-at-home options are not available, school districts, ESDs, and charter schools must designate an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. Such policies and activities must also address how the school will maintain social distancing protocols to the greatest extent possible for essential visitors and delivery of services.
  • Childcare must be carried out in maximum stable groups of 10 or fewer children (“stable” means the same 10 or fewer children are in the same group each day), and in a classroom that cannot be accessed by children outside the stable group.
  • Schools must prioritize the childcare needs of first responders, emergency workers and health care professionals, followed by critical operations staff and essential personnel, consistent with guidance provided by the Oregon Department of Education, Early Learning Division.
  • Employees in at-risk categories or who have an at-risk member of their household should not be required to physically report to a worksite. They may be assigned duties through telework or work-at-home.

Key Points

  1. The original school closure was superseded by Executive Order 20-08. There is no requirement for districts to assign all staff to physically return to work on March 30 and 31.
  2. Executive Order 20-08 closed schools through April 28. This closure date will be reviewed in April as more is known about the spread of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts.
  3. During the closure schools must pay staff to work differently to provide out-of-school supplementary education and learning supports, school meals, and emergency child care.
  4. Schools must also adhere to provisions of Executive Order 20-12, titled “Stay Home, Save Lives.” by facilitating telework and work-at-home whenever possible, enforcing social distancing measures when staff must be onsite, and ensuring employees who are at-risk or have household members at-risk are not required to physically report to a worksite.

Supplemental Education and Learning Supports (SEALS) Guidance

The purpose of SEALS is to create continuity for learning, center equity, and support educators during school closure. This guidance will define and clarify SEALS, provide a framework for districts to identify their remote schooling readiness (whether online or offline), provide planning tools for implementing SEALS, and to share resources to assist districts. This guidance will be followed with additional resources to support this work.

This guidance includes initial steps in this effort, and ODE will continue to develop and provide resources to districts, schools, families, students, and communities. The SEALS guidance will be posted to the ODE COVID-19 website this weekend. Guidance on Pathways to Graduation for students in grades 9-12 is undergoing additional vetting. We hope to have that information posted to the ODE COVID-19 website in the coming days.

Survey: Additional Resources and Supplementary Supports

The initial guidance provided above is intended to help districts frame next steps for SEALS (whether online or offline). ODE understands that districts and families may need additional resourcing to fulfill these obligations under Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-08, including possible technology supports and other mechanisms to ensure that students are able to equitably access and utilize online learning opportunities that some districts may choose to implement.

Mental Health and Social Emotional Support Guidance

ODE has developed a set of resources to provide mental health and social emotional support to districts. These resources provide trauma- and social emotional-informed guidance for students, families and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak as it disrupts everyday life in Oregon. We encourage school districts to share these resources with staff, students and families. These resources include topics such as:

  • Five key ways to support mental health for students during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond
  • How to talk with children about the Coronavirus
  • How to cope with stress during an infectious disease outbreak
  • How to support high school seniors
  • How to stop racism
  • Resources for migrant and non-English speaking families
  • How to prevent youth suicide – youth version
  • How adults can help to prevent suicide
  • How to support children and teens through loss and trauma
  • How to support student and staff mental and emotional health and wellbeing in supplemental education activities

ODE’s Assessment & Accountability Waiver

ODE submitted a comprehensive statewide assessment and accountability waiver to the U.S. Department of Education on March 20. Through the U.S. Department of Education’s expedited process, ODE immediately received authority to implement the waiver. ODE hosted a Public Comment period, as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act, Section 8401, that ended on March 23 at 5:00 PM. ODE received four comments in support of the waiver and one question.

Key Points

  1. ODE will suspend implementation of the statewide summative assessments in English language arts and math in grades 3 through 8 & 11 and science in grades 5, 8, & 11 for the 2019-20 school year (pending any required changes to ORSs and OARs).
  2. ODE will suspend the Essential Skills Requirement for the Oregon Diploma for the 2019-20 school year (pending any required changes to ORSs and OARs). Additional information on Pathways to Graduation for the class of 2020 is forthcoming.
  3. If schools reopen on April 29 and secure test environments can be provided, the summative English language proficiency assessment (ELPA) will be available for students who are Emergent Bilinguals/English Learners. Detailed ELPA guidance is forthcoming.
  4. ODE will not identify new schools for targeted supports based on data from the 2019-20 school year. Schools that were previously identified will continue to receive supports in 2020-21.
  5. ODE will not produce Accountability Details reports based on 2019-20 data. ODE is reviewing the effects that school closures and this waiver have on data collections and validations for this spring and summer.

Guidance Regarding Virtual Public Charter Schools

Under this guidance a closed virtual public charter school may operate to provide online education services under the following conditions:

  1. With the closure of the school under the executive order, the school may not enroll new students after March 26, 2020 until schools are reopened by the Governor. The schools may continue to serve all students enrolled prior to March 27, 2020.
  2. Comply with all of the conditions laid out in the Governor’s executive order paragraph 4(a) to (e). One method of compliance is to coordinate with their sponsor district to support the efforts of the district to meet the requirements of the executive order. This may include supporting the delivery of supplemental education and learning supports, school meals and the provision of child care.
  3. Continue to regularly pay all employees and may assign employees to provide supplemental services and emergency management activities.

Virtual public charter schools may not enroll new students or withdraw existing students during the period of school closure. Additionally, State School Fund allocations for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year will be based on the virtual public charter school’s ADM in the 2nd period ADM data collection as of December 31, 2019. Changes to ADM and resulting weighting (ADMw) for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year will be adjusted in the State School Fund reconciliation in May 2021. Virtual public charter schools will receive State School Funds pursuant to state law, their charter agreement and if they are in compliance with the Executive Order 20-08 and ODE guidance. Where there is a conflict between state law or their charter agreement and an Executive Order of the Governor, the Executive Order prevails pursuant to the Governor’s emergency powers.

New Resources and COVID-19 Website Improvement

ODE has improved our COVID-19 website. As the content grew over the last several days, it became important to ensure this resource is still an easily navigated tool. Please visit the site frequently to see updates to the categorized FAQ page, review past updates to superintendents, essential documents, and resources for families.

 

Update from Superintendent Johnson

Creswell Families,

Let’s begin with a thank you! Your flexibility, understanding and willingness to support one-another is inspiring. As we continue to find ourselves in uncharted territory, we will be sharing updates when available via email and our webpage: http://www.creswell.k12.or.us/wp/crnt/resources-2/coronavirus-information-school-safety/

Linked here you will find Executive Order 20-08 from Oregon Governor Kate Brown. The other site that is super helpful is the FAQ page from the ODE. It can be found at https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Pages/COVID-19-FAQ.aspx

Below are some basic updates regarding services available from Creswell School District and in our community to support families during this extended school closure. 
 
Free Meals for Students
 
We will continue to provide food service to students including during spring break.
  • March 23 through 27 lunch will be available to-go for all students and all youth 18 and younger.
  • Beginning March 30, breakfast and lunch are available to-go for all students and all youth 18 and younger.
  • The free grab and go meals will be served curbside at Creslane Elementary School from 11:00AM to 12:30PM, Monday through Friday

Supplemental Instruction

District teams are working to develop plans to provide supplemental educational materials and activities for students to work on at home. You can expect more information from me regarding distance learning involving teachers once we receive more details and specifics for equitable delivery of instruction from the Sate of Oregon.

Self Care and Prevention 
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We encourage everyone in our community to follow recommended practices by washing hands frequently, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, staying home when sick, and avoiding large gatherings.

Higher-risk individuals—including people over 60 and those with pre-existing cardio, respiratory and immune conditions—are especially urged to avoid large gatherings, limit close contact, keep away from others who are sick, and take other precautions.

Everyone can do their part to help slow the spread of illness. Public health officials recommend many of the everyday precautions we take to prevent flu and the common cold, which are also helpful in protecting against the spread of COVID-19.

Public health recommendations include washing hands frequently, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, keeping away from people who are sick, and avoiding gatherings. People with higher risk of serious complications—people over 60 and those with pre-existing cardio, respiratory and immune conditions—are especially urged to stay home and take other precautions.

People experiencing fever, flu or cold symptoms should stay at home until 3 days after they are symptom-free without the use of medication. If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult your healthcare provider.

If you have questions or concerns about your or your child’s health, please contact your healthcare provider.
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Helpful suggestions for talking to children and youth about coronavirus COVID-19 have been provided by the National Association of School Psychologists and National Association of School Nurses.
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Reliable information and ongoing updates from public health officials are available online, including:

Helpful resources for schools and families include:

Thank you for your ongoing patience, support and understanding.

Sincerely,

Mike Johnson, Superintendent

School Closure Extended Through April 28

Oregon schools closed for 6 weeks to combat coronavirus COVID-19 • Free student meals during closure 

On March 17, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced an extension of the statewide school closure to help prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

The Governor’s new order means that schools will be closed for students for six weeks, through April 28, unless the closure is extended or lifted by order of the Governor before that date. Creswell School District schools and offices are closed to the public.

Key points we know:

  • The statewide emergency school closure will be extended and schools will remain closed until April 28. (This date could be extended or shortened by the Governor Brown).
  • School campuses and grounds are temporarily closed.
  • Access to buildings will be restricted to essential staff at this time
  • We will continue to provide food service to students including during spring break.
    • March 19 through 27 lunch will be available to-go for all students and all youth 18 and younger.
    • Beginning March 30, breakfast and lunch are available to-go for all students and all youth 18 and younger.
    • The free grab and go meals will be served curbside at Creslane Elementary School from 11:00AM to 12:30PM, Monday through Friday.

Key points we are waiting for clarification on from the State of Oregon:

  • Will the school year be extended further into the summer.
  • Details and specifics for equitable delivery of instruction.
  • What supports the district will provide for child care for essential health care providers and first responders.

We know that this is a trying time and that the closure of our schools is a tremendous challenge for families. We are making some immediate changes to help families and to support staff and community health during this extended closure. Helpful suggestions for talking to children and youth about coronavirus COVID-19 (Link) have been provided by the National Association of School Psychologists and National Association of School Nurses.

Learn more: Read the news release from the Office of Governor Kate Brown

Coronavirus COVID-19 questions:
• Lane County Call Center — call 541-682-1380
• Oregon 211 — call 211 or text 898211

Resources for financially impacted families: 
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
• Food for Lane County (food pantry sites and information)

Managing stress and talking with children about coronavirus:
• Talking to Children About Coronavirus COVID-19 (NASP/NASN) 
• Talking With Children About Infectious Disease Outbreaks (SAMHSA) 
• Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks (SAMHSA)