Our state-mandated school closure has been extended through April 28, 2020. CAL SD understands that the biggest impact is being felt by you and your family.
Significant conversations are ongoing between the Governor, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), the State Board of Education, and 197 local school district superintendents across the state. Many other entities also have a role in the decisions being made including the Oregon Health Authority, the US Dept of Education, and Higher Education (Oregon University System).
ODE is working on guidelines for schools to 1) provide “supplemental learning and education supports to the extent practical through independent study and other appropriate options.” In addition we are also required to operationalize daycare for first responders, emergency workers, and health care professionals (while observing group size limits and social distancing guidelines), and provide (grab-and-go) breakfasts and lunches to free/reduced eligible students (which we are currently doing).
Knowing that school closures are detrimental to students, difficult for families, and harm the most vulnerable in our society, here are some of the yet unanswered topics awaiting resolution:
ODE is partnering with OHA and DHS to ensure mental health services to students, families, and staff. We do not have detailed information as to what this means, but we will provide updates as we receive them.
ODE is applying for waivers to the US Dept. of Education for relief from the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), SBAC assessment and special education requirements.
ODE will be meeting with the State Board of Education tomorrow to determine what may be done to assist graduating seniors to earn a diploma and, as appropriate, have a transcript that will help college applicants gain admission.
The issue of credits is a potential issue for every high school student should the second semester be lost due to the further extension of the closure period.
Given the Governor’s current executive order, it would be a violation to meet with small groups of students to deliver instruction and attempt to meet credit requirements. Any effort made to provide online schooling will require that the district provide full access to content including technology, instruction, instructors, differentiation, and specially designed instruction for those students with IEPs.
The employees of the Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District are anxious to provide services to students. There is not one person, including those in at-risk populations for COVID-19, who don’t want to do something for our students – your children.
You may not see very many cars in our parking lots, but teachers are working on individually created “supplemental learning and education supports” even in the isolation of their homes and in the absence of ODE guidance. That work will continue for the remainder of the week.
Spring break offers a reprieve from the work for our local staff, and it offers a chance for ODE and the State Board to provide some much needed direction. Staff will conduct virtual meetings after the break to work the guidance and operationalize opportunities for students in this new reality.
Updates will be posted on the website and social media as we receive them. We thank our families for their patience and every effort being made to fill the learning void at home.
While I may not be able to respond to every email personally, I welcome your questions as an opportunity to provide general responses for the benefit of the entire community.
Malcom McRae, Superintendent
Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District