Dear LOSD community,
We are continuing to monitor and assess the impact of coronavirus COVID-19. We have not seen any new cases of COVID-19 in our LOSD community. Following are LOSD’s current practices and guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, staff and community.
Keeping schools open: LOSD is in alignment with the guidance from public health authorities and education officials recommending not to close schools and to consider alternatives before closing a school. Click here for the news release that details that guidance. Should we learn of a new case of COVID-19 in our LOSD community, we may possibly close a school for a day to give families and staff time to assess the situation and make plans.
Enhanced cleaning and disinfection: LOSD has implemented an enhanced cleaning and disinfecting plan that includes daily disinfecting of high-touch surfaces. Additionally, we will be providing each classroom and office space with a diluted disinfectant spray (Alpha-HP) and microfiber cloths for interim cleaning, which will be washed each evening.
Heightened hygiene: Not touching eyes, noses or mouths continues to be public health authorities’ primary recommendation for personal protection against the spread of coronaviruses, including COVID-19. Keeping hands away from our faces can be challenging, which is why frequent handwashing is critical. We are continuing to emphasize the importance of handwashing at school, and request that you do the same at home. Frequently cleaned hands touching surfaces further helps prevent the spread of germs.
Staying home when feeling ill: According to information and guidance from public health officials, there are two primary ways COVID-19 spreads: 1) being in close contact with an infected individual who is symptomatic (fever higher than 100.5, coughing, and shortness of breath) and that person sharing bodily fluids, i.e. coughing on you; and 2) touching a surface that has been infected, then touching eyes, noses or mouths. COVID-19 symptoms are typically milder in children than in adults. Therefore, LOSD is asking that any person who is feeling ill in the slightest to please stay home. Guidelines from our district nurse are on the website: When is my child too sick for school?
If ill at school: If a student comes to school feeling ill, or becomes ill while in school, the student will be directed to the health room immediately where district nurses are making assessments and instructing parents and guardians to contact their medical providers and/or health officials. It is imperative that your student's emergency contacts be updated because if you are inaccessible, the emergency contact needs to be someone close enough to bring your student home from school. Click here for guidelines on how to update your emergency contacts in ParentVue.
Extended absence: We appreciate you keeping students home when ill, and will continue to provide excused absences grace on missed school work. Oregon Administrative Rule does require a student who has been absent for ten consecutive full days of school to be withdrawn on the eleventh consecutive weekday of absence. LOSD closely monitors absences and notifies families if a student is approaching a withdrawal date. Additionally, LOSD works with families to make a plan should a student be too ill to come to school for an extended period of time. Please contact your school principal if you have concerns about your students’ absence.
Canceling large-group events: LOSD is following the CDC guidelines to modify, postpone or cancel large events outside of regular school hours for the safety and well-being of our event staff, participants and community. The criteria used to evaluate a change in an event includes: the size and duration of the event, demographics of participants, complexity of event operations, and type of on-site services and activities the event may offer.
Contingency planning: After considerable assessment, LOSD has determined we cannot provide equitable online teaching and learning at this time. We are continuing to develop these plans for the future. We will be providing a catalog of online resources currently used in our district that students can access if needed. For this school year, should we have to close schools for an extended period of time, LOSD would consider extending the school calendar into the month of June. The instructional time LOSD offers our students exceeds the time required by the state, and we have unused days for inclement weather built into this year’s calendar; therefore, the number of extended days would likely be fewer than the number of days closed.
Travel policy: LOSD is following CDC guidelines regarding restrictions due to travel. Please continue to monitor the CDC guidelines for travel advisories; should a student travel to an area with a CDC travel advisory, that student will be asked to follow CDC self quarantine guidelines upon their return to LOSD.
School trips: LOSD is aware of several school-related trips planned over Spring Break, and is following the CDC guidelines regarding restrictions due to travel. We are working with staff and families to consider the safety of each experience.
Respect and dignity: Please keep close to our values of equity and inclusiveness, and continue to treat everyone in our community with respect, and recognize the dignity and humanity of everyone. This is especially important at a time when fears about the virus can too easily foster suspicion without regard for facts. Our responsibility is to provide welcoming, safe, and inclusive schools, and we do not tolerate acts of discrimination.
Not our story to tell: The LOSD staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 is a beloved member of our community and I know we all wish for a swift recovery so that we may welcome this person back to Forest Hills soon. HIPAA laws preclude us from being able to share any identification of this person, and we ask that you, too, be considerate of this person’s privacy. If/when this person wishes to be identified, it’ll be that person's story to tell.
The situation is dynamic, and keeping you safe and informed dominates our thinking. We will continue to keep you apprised of any new information impacting you and our community.
Dr. Lora de la Cruz
Superintendent, Lake Oswego School District