Student Success and Achievement – Graduation Rate Data Released

Dear CSD Families,

As we settle into 2022, I want to take a moment to thank you for the patience and flexibility you have shown for the district over the past two weeks. As relayed in my recent correspondence, our schools were not spared from COVID-19’s recent surge, requiring hard work of each and every CSD staff member to protect in-person learning opportunities and maintain district operations. After examining this week’s attendance numbers, I am encouraged by the trend in reported absences and hope that last week marks the peak of the omicron variant’s impact on our community. If you are interested in receiving free at-home COVID-19 tests to have available when you need them, visit COVIDtests.gov. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home tests.

I am excited to share some additional positive news. Yesterday, Oregon Department of Education released 2020-2021 graduation rates. Despite pandemic challenges, 83.75% of Creswell High School’s class of 2021 graduated in 4 years, demonstrating their resilience and exceeding the average 4-year graduation rates for both Oregon (80.63%) and Lane County (77.82%). The statewide average of 80.6% represents the second-highest 4-year graduation rate recorded in Oregon’s history. With our commitment to improving access and opportunities for students who have been historically underserved in the education system, it’s a point of pride to report that within CHS’s cohort, 82.61% of our economically disadvantaged students, more than 95% of Hispanic/Latino students, and 81.82% of students experiencing disabilities were able to earn their diploma within 4 years. Our educators are dedicated to the success of our students and will continue working to ensure their progress towards graduation.

Thank you again for remaining diligent in your efforts to help us keep students in our classrooms. Your cooperation in keeping students home when sick and following new isolation and quarantine guidance are helping both students and staff remain in-person and return to school sooner.

I hope you have an enjoyable and healthy weekend ahead – be safe and stay well!

Best regards,

Mike Johnson
Superintendent

No School for CSD students on Monday, January 17th – CSD40 Update

Dear CSD families,

Here is a link to the current edition of the CSD40 Update newsletter. Inside, you’ll find several videos, including one to thank our community for the generosity extended to our staff during the winter break and one highlighting some of last month’s school activities.

As a reminder, there is NO SCHOOL for CSD students on Monday, January 17th, 2022 due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

I hope you enjoy the long holiday weekend. Please continue doing all you can to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 by staying home if you are ill. Wishing you good health!

With kind regards,

Mike Johnson
Superintendent

Updated COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

Dear CSD Staff and Families,

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Lane County Public Health (LCPH) have recently updated their guidance to reflect the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) new COVID-19 isolation and quarantine periods. Since the pandemic started, Creswell School District has adhered to OHA, LCPH, and Oregon Department of Education (ODE) guidelines. In accordance with these new recommendations, effective January 14th, CSD is shortening the isolation/quarantine timeline from 10 to 5 days if the student or staff is symptom free. School nurses will be reaching out to those currently quarantining and isolating to provide updated timelines for returning to school.

To return to school following the initial 5-day quarantine or isolation, students and staff are required to consistently wear a well-fitting mask when around others during the following 5 days (days 6-10).

  • During the first 5 days following quarantine/isolation (days 6-10), if consistent masking is not possible during an activity – including extracurricular activities and athletics – the individual cannot participate in that activity.
  • If students or staff are unable to consistently wear a well-fitting mask while around others, they will need to quarantine at home for 10 days.

As a reminder, masks are still required indoors for all staff and students during the school day.

Additional information is included below:

Quarantine

Fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 (close contacts) DO NOT need to quarantine. They DO need to consistently wear a well-fitting mask when around others for 10 days. They should also watch for symptoms and seek testing at least 5 days after their exposure.

Close contacts who are NOT fully vaccinated should quarantine for at least 5 days. If they remain asymptomatic, close contacts may return to school provided they:

  • Closely monitor for symptoms for 5 more days.
  • Consistently wear a well-fitting mask when around others during the 5 days after quarantine.
  • Seek testing at least 5 days after exposure. If they test positive or develop COVID-19 symptoms, they should follow recommendations for isolation.

Isolation

Regardless of vaccination status, students, teachers, and staff who have presumed or confirmed COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 must isolate at home and away from others for a minimum of 5 full days, with day 0 being the first day of symptoms. For those experiencing no symptoms, the date of the positive test is considered day 0.

If ill individuals continue experiencing a fever or have other symptoms that have not improved after 5 days of in-home isolation, they should extend their in-home isolation until they have been fever free for 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medication, and other symptoms have improved.

Individuals should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public places for an additional 5 days (days 6-10) after the end of their 5-day isolation.

“Up to Date” status definition of COVID-19 vaccination

The CDC recommends that individuals remain up to date with their vaccinations. Within the K-12 setting, those who are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination include:

  • Individuals 18+ who have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised individuals.
  • Youth 5-17 years of age who have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.

I understand that it seems like recommendations are shifting constantly – they are. As we have all experienced, we are in a fluid situation and more changes are sure to arise. We will continue to keep you informed as we receive updates and thank you for your understanding, patience, and flexibility as the district adapts and implements updated guidance.

Sincerely,
Mike Johnson
Superintendent

COVID-19 Omicron Update

Dear Staff and Families,

As we have repeatedly shared throughout the school year, while our goal is to keep students in classrooms where we know they learn best, our highest priority is and remains the safety and health of our staff and students. In the face of the current Omicron surge that is impacting our district, I wanted to share how we are planning and adjusting to the shifting health landscape.

Currently, our schools are open and we will strive to keep students in our classrooms. We are, however, experiencing a high number of staff and student absences due to illness and have had to pause several extra-curricular activities due to positive COVID-19 cases and exposures; this morning alone, nearly 10% of our staff and over 300 students have reported absences. This raises concerns about significant staffing shortages to maintain district operations. To keep our schools operating in-person, we have implemented several strategies, including the use of substitutes and repurposing of district staff. Thank you to the many teachers who have subbed during preparatory periods, substitutes and emergency substitutes, principals, counselors, and other staff members who have worked diligently to cover classrooms, work shifts, supervision, and our health center. We will continue to do our best to remain in-person and avoid a closure or move to short-term remote learning, but we want to make everyone aware we are close to a potential tipping point.

We are monitoring our staffing levels, case counts, and numbers of students and staff isolating and quarantining daily. If we exhaust our resources and do not have staff available to continue on-site instruction in a safe environment, we may need to invoke a brief emergency closure of schools in order to give staff time to get back to health or temporarily transition to short-term remote learning until the surge subsides. In that event, families would receive updates and communications from schools, teachers, and the district about distributing technology and other information. Meal service would continue and we would provide details regarding meal pick-ups.

We understand the significant impact that these decisions create for families and do not undertake them lightly. Please know the health and safety of our students and staff will be at the forefront of every choice we make and that we will continue to educate and protect the wellbeing of every CSD student.

Please help us to do all we can to keep students in school. Families and staff play an important role by staying home in case of illness and continuing to practice our layered mitigation strategies, including wearing masks, distancing, and practicing good respiratory and hand-washing etiquette. Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate these challenges together!

With kindest regards,

Mike Johnson
Superintendent