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School Closure & Coronavirus Updates

School Closure updates

Published March 18, 2020

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced an extension to her mandate to close Oregon schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The governor’s new orders mean that schools will be closed until April 28, 2020This allows us to begin supplemental education on April 1. 

We know this is a trying time and that the closure of our schools is a challenge. Please know we are doing all we can to plan for our students’ needs. Based on the guidance from the Oregon Department of Education received to date, we are now preparing to deliver academic support, or as termed by the Governor, supplemental education, to all students during this extended closure. 

What we do know right now:

  • Our staff is gearing up to prepare for the launch of a supplementary learning plan to begin April 1, 2020. While it is early in our preparatory work, our staff will be working to put together a plan that is ready for our April 1, 2020 start.
  • While this approach to supporting student learning is new and unprecedented, our staff remain skillful at creating meaningful learning experiences. We are confident they will continue to do so through a combination of low tech and tools already at our disposal, such as Google Classroom. 
  • In advance of launching our supplementary learning program, you will receive a technology device survey from the district. Your responses will enable the district to work to meet your needs.
  • Our facilities will remain closed to students during the extended closure.
  • Our custodians (with help from additional staffing) are engaged in deep cleaning all surfaces in our schools, closing off rooms when complete, to ensure they remain disinfected for when students and staff return.
  • While our students are away from school, please help them understand the importance of this national health emergency by encouraging social distancing, good hand hygiene, avoiding people who are sick, and covering their coughs and sneezes. Gatherings of more than 10 people are not recommended by the U.S. government at this time. 

Special note: The use of the Riverdale Grade School playground must comply with social distancing. As an example, you are welcome to walk the track (adhering to the 6 feet apart guideline). We ask that you not gather for games of basketball, or gather in groups for play opportunities. 

We will be in touch with more information in advance of the April 1, 2020 supplemental learning start date. Please look for the technology device survey. We ask for your patience in these ever-changing times. Please do what you can to help prevent the spread of this virus.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Published March 13, 2020

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 Multnomah County and the Oregon Health Authority, in making preventative changes in our schools and programs. 

After careful consideration as a district leadership team, consultation with external partners and state agencies, and in addition to the latest guidance from Gov. Brown, Riverdale will extend spring break, beginning Monday, March 16 with a plan for students to return to schools on Wednesday, April 1 (all 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 cancelled. We will assess and confirm or adjust return dates for students and staff, respectively, on Wednesday, March 25. 

As we head into an extended break, our teachers may send general information as they encourage students to keep their brains sharp. They will not be able to interact about extended assignments at this time as they are also on a break. Should it be needed to be out longer beyond March 31, we would assess how we best implement continued learning activities and the need for implementation of remote learning plans. We would then provide more details to the Riverdale community. 

The Monday school board work study begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by the board meeting at 6 p.m., please check the website for any change in format. 

Starting Monday, March 16, and until we reopen schools on April 1, schools will be closed to students. Education staff are also expected to be out of Riverdale 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. However, we do not take this decision lightly. But we have to be responsible not only as educators and caretakers but also as members of the larger community in which we live and work. Extending spring break is a preventative measure to help slow the rate of the spread of coronavirus and flatten the curve of the virus’s impact on our citizens and health care systems. We are also sensitive to the fact that some of our staff are older individuals with whom we share concern for their health and therefore want to limit exposure.

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. If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult with a doctor.

We will continue to monitor this very dynamic public health situation and will plan to provide updates during the course of this extended break. Thank you for your support and cooperation during this time.

 

 

Published March 12, 2020

Dear Riverdale families and staff,

Riverdale School District is proactively suspending events that bring large groups of students, adults, and community members together, per the guidance announced by Gov. Brown. This guidance is intended to slow the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

In addition to previous guidance issued on March 8 to keep schools open, all non-essential school-associated gatherings and group activities will be cancelled. That includes school-based assemblies and events, field trips and parent group meetings. This includes the cancellation of high school field studies trips. Suspension of non-essential school-based activities begins immediately, effective Thursday, March 12, and will remain in effect for 30 days unless directed otherwise. 

Athletic practices will continue as currently scheduled at this time, but future competitions will not allow spectators. Updates to this plan may be made in the future if necessary.

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. This action is not related to any new cases of COVID-19. At this time, there are no known cases associated with our Riverdale schools. 

High School Field Studies: In line with the recommendation from the governor and practices now in place in school districts across the state, our scheduled field studies will not take place this year. We acknowledge the disappointment cancellation brings. Next week, what would traditionally be field studies week, will transition to instructional time. Students and staff will report to school for the second week of trimester three.

Remote Learning Exploration: Remote learning is something we are exploring should a school closure be necessary. The grade school is using professional development time today and tomorrow to explore remote learning possibilities. The high school staff began the conversation yesterday around remote learning during professional development and will be in a position to do more detailed planning if the need arises. 

Current exploration about remote learning will be shared with the board on Monday at their regular monthly meeting. Should you be interested in hearing more about this topic, and are unable to attend the board meeting, a summary of the remote learning conversations will be posted to the RSD website by Tuesday.

Finally, you can find district messages about COVID-19 coronavirus, resources and links to public health agencies by visiting our website.

We will continue to communicate eblasts about Riverdale’s planning every Tuesday and Friday until further notice. Additional topics, such as volunteers on campus will be addressed through the Tuesday/Friday messaging. 

 

 

Published March 10, 2020

The safety, health and well-being of our students and staff is our highest priority. You and your student can help reduce the risk of spreading novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by staying home if you are experiencing symptoms of a cold or flu. Here are the latest updates:

OHA recommendation: At this time, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recommends against closing schools and campuses where no cases of COVID-19 are present. OHA also recommends that schools, colleges and universities consider all alternatives before closing a school, college or university in the event that a COVID-19 case is detected among students or staff.

Schools, colleges and universities should make decisions in concert with public health authorities, based on real-time information about COVID-19 and its transmission and using public health best practices. 

Meanwhile, schools, colleges and universities should emphasize the simple things people can do to keep healthy and remind students, faculty and staff who are ill not to attend school and remain at home. OHA will continue to reassess this recommendation as the outbreak continues. 

Facility use: Riverdale School District is continuing to restrict the use of our facilities to only district-sponsored events. Our restriction on outside use will be reevaluated on March 31. 

GS and HS updates: Field studies at the high school are continuing as planned. Parents have the option to not send their student on a field studies trip. We will be following the same protocols we use to manage the school. We will be encouraging hand washing often. As is our existing protocol, we will call parents to pick up a student who is sick and isolate them while they wait for their pickup. The student leaders have been trained in regards to sanitation processes and management. Our general safety protocols will remain in place. Fortunately, the camp in which we hold Wildhorse is in their off season, and we will be the first out there in a while. Please contact the high school if you have a concern about your student’s trip.

Grade school parents will receive a separate email with more information on the cancellation of GS conferences this Thursday and Friday. 

Reminder: If your student is experiencing sickness, here are the exclusion guidelines used by schools. 

Resources: Students, families and school staff can find more information about COVID-19 at:

 

Published on March 6, 2020

Friday update: Riverdale School District is continuing our practices stated on Tuesday as there are no new developments. We will evaluate our practices next week and inform you of any changes. The information below is from Tuesday's eblast. 

Reminder: If your student is experiencing sickness, here are the exclusion guidelines used by schools. 

Facility Use Adjustments: Evening and weekend use will be limited to only district-sponsored activities with RSD staff and students in order for our janitors to manage cleanliness. We will update you when this changes. As of now, school events, such as field trips, will continue as planned. 
 
Practices: We ask that all adults and students please use hand sanitizer or wash their hands upon arrival at our schools. There are hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes spread throughout the schools and signs to ensure students are washing their hands throughout the day. Riverdale is following all current health authority recommendations. Our janitors are increasing their cleaning of our high-touch surfaces, such as door knobs and light switches. 
 
Planning: The number of confirmed cases in the United States continues to grow. At this time, there is no broad recommendation to close schools in our area. We continue to closely monitor the situation, explore what we can do if school closure is necessary and take guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. The district is joining meetings every day with other local schools in and out of the Multnomah Education Service District (MESD) to stay up to date with latest practices.
 
For now, please continue to read and follow the guidelines below and emphasize healthy practices to your students and families. 
 
Resources: Here's an update from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education. 
Relevant information can be found on our website, which will be updated as needed. In addition, this link provides helpful information:
More information and ongoing updates from public health officials are available online, including:
 
Published on March 2, 2020
 
Dear Riverdale School District parents and guardians,
 
Yesterday, Oregon announced its first presumptive case of COVID-19. The patient was an adult who spent time in a school in the Lake Oswego school district and may have exposed students and staff at the school. The individual has been isolated and is being cared for at a local hospital. OHA epidemiologists are working closely with public health investigators at Washington County Department of Health and Human Services to identify close contacts of the case.
 
The health department proactively contacts household members of cases of COVID-19 and will request that they self-isolate, meaning not attend school or work, for 14 days after their last contact with the infectious person. In the event that a classroom of individuals is exposed to a student, teacher, or other staff with confirmed COVID-19, Multnomah County Health Department will likely exclude the entire classroom for 14 days after the last exposure.
 
The district is closely monitoring this situation and is in frequent contact with public health authorities. Public health officials advise parents to keep students home if they display any signs of illness - this also applies to district staff and volunteers. Health officials also support schools in sending home or keeping home students and staff members who appear unwell, consistent with the tri-county standard exclusion guidelines. (See link below.) 
 
We are also advising families to reduce adult visits and non-essential deliveries to the high school, such as GrubHub. Non-critical food deliveries, student shadow visits or other adult visitations will be restricted at both schools
 
 
The internal team actively reviewing coronavirus developments includes the superintendent, our principals, and the communications coordinator. We will continue to work with the health department to determine when and if any additional measures, including decisions about cleaning, school closures, and social distancing need to be taken. 
 
You can help yourself and your student(s) to reduce their risk for getting and spreading viral respiratory infections, including the flu and the common cold, by encouraging them to take simple steps which will also prevent COVID-19:
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue, sleeve, or elbow (not hands) when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands.
  • If you or someone in your household is sick, stay home and follow the guidance of your healthcare provider. 
  • Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and regular exercise, and by taking care of underlying health conditions.
 
There are also basic steps every household should take to prepare for any unexpected event: 
  • Learn about your employer’s sick leave and telecommuting policies.
  • Establish a childcare plan in the event your kids need to stay home from school.
  • Make sure you have the kinds of foods, drinks, medications and pet supplies you would want if you needed to stay home and limit your contact with other people for a couple weeks.
  • Get to know your neighbors, especially those who might need extra help like seniors or people living alone.
  • In the face of rumors check multco.us/covid19 for reliable information.
 
More information and ongoing updates from public health officials are available online, including:
 
 
If you have school-related questions or concerns about COVID-19, please contact us.
 
COVID