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Lincoln County Public Schools Closure…

Dear Lincoln County School District Families and Staff,
Our city, our state, and much of the world are now dealing with an unprecedented public health crisis. Since the COVID-19 coronavirus first emerged in Oregon, we have followed the guidance of our public health agency partners, including Lincoln County and the Oregon Health Authority, in making preventative changes in our schools and programs. As this situation continues to evolve, public health experts now believe the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Oregon will grow. In addition, we are now experiencing a large number of staff absences, which makes it difficult to effectively operate the school system and causes us concern for our employees and their health. For all these reasons and to best protect our students, employees, and community, we believe it is time for us to act more urgently and more aggressively.
After careful consideration as a district leadership team, consultation with external partners and state agencies, and in addition to last night’s latest guidance from Governor Brown. Lincoln County School District will extend spring break, beginning Monday, March 16 with a plan for students to return to schools on Wednesday, April 1 (staff will be expected to return on Monday, March 30, two days earlier). During this time, all school activities, including athletic events and practices, are canceled.
Starting Monday, March 16, and until we reopen schools on April 1, schools will be closed to
students. Education staff and school administrators are also expected to be out of school
buildings until March 30. Custodial staff will continue to clean schools during the extended
break, prioritizing high-touch surfaces in classrooms and common areas.
Schools are essential to communities. We know that extending spring break will cause
difficulties for many families who rely on their schools for meals, health care, and a safe place to be during the day. Because of this, we do not take this decision lightly. Extending spring break is a preventative measure to help slow the rate of spread of coronavirus and, as public health agencies explain, flatten the curve of the virus’s impact on our citizens and health care systems. We are also sensitive to the fact that many of our staff are older individuals with whom we share a concern for their health and therefore want to limit exposure.

We are working on identifying ways to provide meals to students next week. This information will be provided to parents as soon as possible. Regarding graduation, at this time administration will be discussing ways in which students can earn their credits. This will be communicated as soon as we know.

During the break, we encourage everyone in our community to follow recommended practices by avoiding large gatherings, washing hands frequently, and covering mouths when coughing or sneezing. Those experiencing symptoms of the cold or flu should stay at home until symptom-free for 72 hours (New CDC guidance). If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult with a doctor.

We will continue to monitor this dynamic public health situation and will plan to provide an
update during the course of this extended break. Thank you for your support and cooperation during this time.
Sincerely,
Dr. Karen Gray, Superintendent of Lincoln County School District
541.265.4403
karen.gray@lincoln.k12.or.us
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