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Lincoln Co. Schools Update from Superintendent Dr. Karen Gray

While Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Colt Gill has alluded to the fact that Oregon schools may be closed the rest of the year, we are standing on the facts of the Governor’s last Executive Order that states that we are closed through April 28. Rumors are flying and if you hear that we are closed the rest of the year it is not true as of the writing of this message.

We have a new Interim Principal at Toledo Elementary School. It is the former Vice Principal, Mrs. Liz Postlewait. Ms. Postlewait has been the VP for the last 3 years and taught at Toledo for 11 years before that. She is a Boomer all the way! She will be hiring a new VP soon. In addition, Principal Libba Sager of Crestview Heights Elementary School in Waldport announced her retirement this week. We wish her all the very best of luck. The district is developing a selection team and process as we speak.

We are still serving meals to our families at the rate of between 2500 and 3000 per day. We have added school work packets to the meals that are meant to last a week and also distributed Chromebooks to those that have filled out the online form and requested it.

The people on the front lines are observing the 6 feet apart rule and no gathering of people rule. Today, our district staff went out to every meal pick up site to observe the process and we are being VERY careful to observe the proper protocol for social distancing. Reminder: WHEN STANDING BY THE BUS WAITING FOR MEALS, PLEASE STAND AT A DISTANCE OF AT LEAST 6 FEET FROM THE NEXT PERSON.

We have had more than 1200 requests for Chromebooks. By Tuesday April 7, we should have them all out to most of the kids that requested one. The process has been fantastic and I am very proud of our technology/media staff. Right now we are still only giving out 1 per household grades K-8 but that may change due to the Distance Learning For All requirement we got this week. More to come.

Late Monday night, some of us got the message from the Oregon Department of Education that we were moving from the Supplemental Learning we had for about 5 minutes to new Distance Learning for All which I am going to abbreviate to “D.L.” As you might imagine, LCSD staff and admins jumped right on it and began planning and designing how to provide computer-based learning for ALL kids everywhere in the district. There are many barriers and hurdles to accomplishing this but we are going to give it our all. The education department gave us until April 13 to make our plan which is not a required ODE plan. Efforts are already underway. We plan to roll this D.L. out little by little and then be completely phased in by Monday, April 18. Please stay tuned for more information about this soon. I want everyone to know that people have demonstrated great thinking and idea sharing around this and have our children’s best interests in mind at all times. We will make this graded and credited work worthwhile without overwhelming our families.

Finishing this message, I just got off the Friday phone call with statewide Superintendents and Deputy Superintendent Colt Gill and here is what I heard:

* The Student Investment Account application is still due April 15
* There is no word on Graduation. Mr. Gill’s original plan was confirmed by 55 members of the Student Success Act Advisory group and 25 members of the African American Student Success group (of which I was a founding member when I was Parkrose Superintendent). The Governor wants Colt to convene a conversation with the State Board of Education which he will do tomorrow. He wants them to advise Colt about the plan they have been shopping around. We simply cannot wait much longer for an answer. If given the go ahead, the ODE has guidance ready. No policy change is needed because it is a statewide policy change.
* We have had no guidance yet from our Governor or Deputy Superintendent Colt Gill to wear masks. If this changes, we will communicate that.

Well, that is all I can think of at this moment. I will continue to message you as often as I can so we can all stay in the loop of communication. Please call me or email me if you have ideas, questions or concerns. Stay home, Save lives.

Karen Gray
Superintendent
Lincoln County School District

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