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Important Update.COVID-19.March11

Important update on MSD operations
Posted on 03/11/2020
(March 12, 2020) (Español

This morning, state health authority and other officials spoke at a press conference and provided additional guidance for schools, staff and students.

Here is a brief summary:

  • Large gatherings (250+ people) are suspended for 30 days. This applies to organized public gatherings, *not* stores, malls, etc.
  • Schools are not being closed, but non-essential school activities such as parent meetings, allowing spectators at sporting events, and field trips are canceled
  • Governor Brown emphasized that school closure will be the last resort.
  • State officials emphasized that these measures are being taken to 1)Slow transmission of COVID-19 and 2) Preserve hospital capacity for the most severely impacted individuals

 McMinnville School District cancellations during the next 30 day period:

  • Athletic and club competitions(unless otherwise specified by OSAA in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Education and with the Governor's guidance)
  • Evening or weekend building and field use by McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department and other outside groups including student groups (e.g., Scouts)
  • Evening or weekend fundraisers that are school-sponsored, club-sponsored or PTA-sponsored, which includes any fundraising activity that is an outgrowth of a school need, school group request or is intended to specifically support a school or school program
  • School assemblies
  • Field trips and out-of-town competitions (including Battle of the Books and Buel Outdoor School)
  • Weekend practices, club gatherings, school-sponsored activities
  •  District spelling bee

 Activities/programs that will continue:

  • KOB, 5th-grade band and Success Now will continue, along with the activities that are a continuation of the school day and end when the afterschool bus arrives to take students home the activity/club/practice ends
  • Academic clubs and afterschool sports practice may continue (this guidance may change following an update from OSAA/ODE and if so, the District's guidance will change)
  • The upcoming Job Fair, scheduled for March 17, will be conducted virtually, unless the candidate is already inside the district such as a student-teacher applicant.

  •  Survival swim

  •  School meetings:

  •  PTA meetings held at schools are canceled

  • Individual parent meetings with school staff may be canceled. Parents will be contacted directly should their meeting need to be rescheduled

  • Spring conferences fall outside the 30-day suspension period, and no decision has yet been made on those meetings

 Each school is creating a list of school-specific activities that will be affected, and those lists will be communicated to parents on a school-by-school basis.

We will continue to update you regarding any changes to the above guidance. We understand how disruptive to families this quickly evolving situation has become. We appreciate your understanding and help as we work together to keep our children and community safe.

(March 11, 2020) (Español

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Oregon increasing, Governor Brown announced new guidance tonight regarding group gatherings and social distancing. We remain committed to keeping our schools open and safe. In accordance with this evening’s guidance and in order to minimize potential opportunities for the virus to spread, we have decided to proactively begin suspending events that bring large groups of students, adults and community members together. This action is not related to a presumptive case. At this time, there are no presumptive cases in the McMinnville Public Schools. 

Suspension of non-essential school-based activities begins immediately, effective Thursday, March 12, and will remain in effect for 30 days. This includes the suspension of all school-based assemblies and events, off-campus field trips and professional development meetings and events. With regard to athletics, we are following new state guidance denying audience admission at all school-based events, with the exception of essential personnel and credentialed media. The list of affected activities will grow as we work with partners and stakeholders over the coming days. We will update you as we make those decisions.

To be clear, we are taking every step possible so that we can continue to provide high-quality education for all of our students and keep our schools open.

We realize that this decision will impact every school community, and we know that many of the events, student performances and other gatherings that we are suspending are those that schools, students and families look forward to all year long. Suspending these events is consistent with guidance from health authorities, and we believe it is a prudent and responsible step to take at this time. We will be working with trip planners, event organizers and others who are responsible for the affected activities. 

The safety, health and well-being of our students and staff is our highest priority. We will continue to work in close partnership with public health authorities to minimize both the spread of coronavirus and disruption to schools and students. We will continue emphasizing the importance of handwashing at school. Our custodians will continue to prioritize high-touch surfaces in classrooms and common areas. And we are making sure schools have adequate cleaning supplies.

Students, families and everyone in our community can best support our efforts by washing hands frequently, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, and using hand sanitizer. Those experiencing symptoms of the cold or flu should stay at home, only returning to school or work when symptom-free for 24 hours. If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult with a doctor.

Finally, you can find messages about COVID-19, resources, links to public health agencies and a question/comment form from the Oregon Health Authority here.  

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this difficult time. We will continue to rely on the guidance from Oregon public health authorities, the Department of Education, and the Office of the Governor. Please know that this message and the decisions being made at this time are being done in collaboration with many of the State of Oregon’s largest school districts, including the Beaverton School District, Eugene School District, Hillsboro School District, Portland Public Schools, and Salem-Keizer Public Schools. We appreciate their partnership at this time. We all collectively share concern for the health and safety of our students and communities.

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