Dear LOSD Community,
We are in a rare moment as a community (global and local) of having a collective experience. Some of our new reality includes practicing social distancing, learning about how this virus is impacting individuals, families, groups, schools and businesses, and planning for unknowns. As such, the LOSD team is continuing to process, assess and make plans for the next few weeks to support our students, staff, families and community during these unprecedented times.
Even though schools are closed, we are continuing to work with our public health authorities who will report immediately to us if any new cases of COVID-19 are found in individuals connected to LOSD. We understand testing is limited, therefore we recognize there are likely untested cases. However, as of now, we have no new presumptive or positive cases of COVID-19 in our students or staff. Regardless of confirmed cases at this moment, we appreciate the steps everyone is taking to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
In our ongoing effort to keep you informed, following you will find additional information about our planning to support students, staff and families:
To keep engaged as well as to help stay occupied at home, we encourage students and families to use online and offline resources for informal or supplemental learning. As a starting point we have posted Family Resources During School Closures that are already being used in the district and are familiar to students, families and staff. In the coming days, LOSD will be providing a compilation of additional resources to help support student learning and family and community engagement while schools are closed.
At this time, the resources and activities that public school districts may provide students and families are for independent study and enrichment purposes only. This is different from what private schools and universities can provide. Public schools are guided by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and must meet its requirements.
The learning time and support students receive at school are not easily supplemented or replaced. Understanding the desire and responsibility to provide continuity for every student in their education, we are assessing the feasibility of providing online learning in the event of extended school closures.
As we consider online learning options, we must meet ODE requirements to ensure all students are served appropriately. Some of the requirements include but are not limited to:
All students have full access to learning, educators and required materials;
Ability to provide differentiated instruction and as well as one-to-one support for students who need it, including 504 and Individualized Education Plans (IEP) plans and talented and gifted and English Learner instruction and supports;
Equal student access to instruction and assessments associated with dual credit courses;
Attendance tracked and student information secured; and
Access to school meals and counseling services.
As you can see, providing online learning is complex. Given all of these requirements, LOSD is still actively working on developing an online learning plan.
We are very mindful of our graduating seniors. We are working on a plan to ensure these students have a path forward for graduation and beyond, if school closures extend further.
The College Board and ACT organization have canceled SAT and ACT exams in March, April, and May. The next scheduled SAT is June 6; the next ACT has been rescheduled to June 13, 2020.
The outpouring of support for students and families experiencing food insecurity has been phenomenal. Through your help promoting the service and your generous donations, Hunger Fighters served five times more people this past weekend.
Hunger Fighters plans to extend its hours again next weekend. Please go to hungerfightersoregon.org for updated dates and times and before making donations. Hunger Fighters’ refrigeration is at capacity; non-perishable and hygiene items are most appreciated.
Governor Brown has closed schools for an “extended spring break” period of two weeks and during this time, the district will continue developing contingency plans should we be closed longer.
For now, the greatest things we can do for each other and our community are continuing to heed the guidance of public health and government authorities in an effort to decrease virus transmission rate, and practice kindness and care for one another. One thing is clear - we are in this together. Together, we will be navigating this collective experience, and it will require our collective patience and cooperation.
Thank you and take good care,
Dr. Lora de la Cruz, Superintendent, LOSD