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BHSD interim superintendent reacts to recent changes

Governor Kate Brown announced Tuesday, March 17, an extension of Oregon’s statewide school closure to a total of six weeks, until April 28, and also issued further guidance for Oregon’s public schools. This follows on an initial two-week closure of Oregon's schools that was set to end on March 31.

“I do not take the decision to extend school closures lightly,” said Governor Brown. “This will have real impacts on Oregon’s students, parents, and educators. But we must act now to flatten the curve and slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon, otherwise, we face a higher strain on our medical system and greater loss of life to this disease.”

The orders are as follows:

• Schools are to remain closed through Tuesday, April 28.

• Districts are to provide learning supports and supplemental services to students and families during the closure period, including meals and child care. This includes the delivery of food assistance and offering child care for essential health care professionals and first responders.

• School districts may call on public school educators and employees to deliver limited learning and support services.

• Each district will pay all their regular employees during the closure.

• The Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Health Authority, and Department of Human Services are directed to support public schools in the continuity of mental health services.

After Gov. Brown’s order, Brookings Harbor School District interim Superintendent Chris Eberhardt issued the following statement:

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced an extension to her mandate to close Oregon schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The governor’s new orders mean that schools will be closed until April 28, 2020.

We know this is a trying time and that the closure of our schools is a challenge. Please know we are doing all we can to plan for our students’ potential return and are looking for additional guidance from the Oregon Department of Education during this extended closure.

What we do know right now:

- We will continue a food distribution of boxed or bagged food from the school district and distribute “snack packs” from the local food bank. See our website for information on dates and times.

- Our facilities will remain closed to students and most staff during the extended closure

While our students are away from school, please help them understand the importance of this national health emergency by encouraging social distancing, good hand hygiene, avoiding people who are sick, and covering their coughs and sneezes. Gatherings of more than 10 people are not recommended by the U.S. government at this time.

We appreciate your understanding as we navigate this constantly-changing situation. We are compiling resources on our website so you can quickly access information. You can access our BHSD COVID-19 information and resources page at www.brookings.k12.or.us.

I will be in touch with more information as soon as we have a plan to navigate this extended closure. Please do what you can to help prevent the spread of this virus.

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