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The “regular” School Year is over

April 8, 2020 Lincoln County SD Update

Dear Lincoln County School District Students, Staff, Parents/Guardians and Community, 

Today at 1:00 pm there were two BIG announcements from Governor Brown. One was regarding the closure of Oregon schools for the rest of the 2019-20 school year and the other was the announcement of Graduation Pathways 2020. We have had change after change the last few weeks and now we have more. It’s a good thing we are so resilient!

I believe that finally knowing that we are not going back to school this year, while it is the news that no superintendent or school board EVER wants to hear, it does provide certainty. Please read an excerpt from the announcement we received today from the Oregon Department of Education:

“Governor Kate Brown’s announcement today closing in-person classes for the rest of the school year is not what any of us hoped for; however, it is a step that gives us certainty. As Governor Brown said, “the best thing we can do for the health of our children, and for the thousands of educators across the state, is to give everyone certainty by announcing the decision today to close in-person classes for the remainder of the school year.”

I know you have been busy preparing to make the best of this challenging situation. These incredible circumstances don’t change our mission, just our approach. Through Distance Learning for All we will continue to:

  • First connect with our students and families;

  • Then understand their physical needs for food, shelter, clothing;

  • Then strive to support their social-emotional and mental health needs; and

  • Then do what we got into this work for and what our children need in these times – “light young minds in Oregon and prepare them for a bright future.”

Here is another excerpt from the ODE letter today about Graduation Pathways 2020:

“Oregon’s Graduation Pathways 2020 is the result of collaboration with educators, administrators, culturally specific community-based organizations, and the education community. This guidance recognizes that this closure is impacting less than 2 percent of our seniors’ time spent learning from kindergarten to grade 12. It is important that we honor the dedication and accomplishments of the class of 2020.  

Key components of the guidance:

  • Maintains Oregon’s rigorous credit requirements (24) while providing a clear path to graduation for seniors who were on-track to graduate prior to the statewide school  closure.

  • Ensures that schools focus their resources to first support students who need to complete additional credits to graduate and then prepare all graduates for their next steps in life. 

  • Suspends Essential Skills and Personalized Learning Requirements.”

In addition, LCSD sent out a letter earlier today with more details so please check your email, FB page or our home page for more information about Graduation 2020. It is our intention to have real in person graduation ceremonies this year. They may end up being held over the summer but we intend to recognize and celebrate our graduating seniors in real style before the fall so stay tuned on that. 

We will persevere and continue to do what is best for kids to the very best of our ability. This includes continuing to feed our kids meals each and every weekday via bus routes and in our parking lots. We will also continue to provide supplemental learning to our students and beginning Monday, April 13, we will implement Distance Learning for All for Secondary students and then on Monday April 20, we will implement Distance Learning for All for Elementary students. Supplemental education and learning supports continue until Distance Learning for All is fully implemented. Everyone that requested a chromebook got one (1 per household grades K-8, grades 9-12 already have them) and we are in the process of finding out who does not have access to the internet and providing free wifi access to those students. More info about D.L. will be coming out next week so please watch for it. 

The Oregon Department of Education is bringing a team together to review how best to grade and provide credit to students grades 9-11 and more guidance will be developed in the next while. In the meantime, all students grades K-12 will continue to be provided education that is relevant and productive. For seniors that have completed their requirements for graduation there is the task of post secondary planning. We will contact every senior and make a post secondary plan with them and assist them to get where they want to be. 

Please hang in there with the school district. Our Graduation 2020 and Distance Learning for All Plans are being thoughtfully developed. We are meeting and planning with teachers and administrators daily either at the school level and/or district level via technology while respecting social distancing rules. As this tornado begins to pass over us we will begin planning soon 

for the 2020-21 school year with gusto. All of our excellent goals will continue to make LCSD a better place. Thank you all. Be Safe. 

Karen F. Gray, Superintendent

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