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Dear SOESD Communities and Staff,

On the evening of 3/12/20, Governor Brown directed all schools in Oregon to close from 3/16/20 – 3/31/20, with plans to reopen schools on 4/1/20.

You may read the press release here:

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/ORED/bulletins/280e897

Please know we are continuing to implement the direction of the governor along with guidance from health officials, and have your health and safety as top priority. SOESD and districts across the state will spend time during this closure on Governor Brown’s additional directives for schools to “develop plans for returning to school that accommodate ongoing impacts of coronavirus” and “for operating schools under updated measures”. Please contact your resident district for some services such as free meals that will continue during the closure.

Please note that Governor Brown stresses “sending Oregon children home will not stop the spread of the coronavirus”, as we’ve known from guidance we’ve been following from health authorities previously. Also, school closure comes with an added concern for increased exposure to the elderly, and the governor is sharing caution that during the closure, children “not be in the care of older adults or those with underlying health issues that are most at-risk from COVID-19”.

We anticipate per the press release that there will be continued guidance during the closure and “timelines will be reevaluated in late March in consultation with school administrators”.

Safety and well-being remain my very highest concern. Please continue to exercise safe practices as preventative measures during the closure such as washing hands; covering coughs and sneezes; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and practicing appropriate social distance.

I wish you all the best of health.

Sincerely,

Scott Beveridge,
Southern Oregon ESD Superintendent

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