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Students, Staff and Community - Dedicated to Excellence

The Marcola Community and the MSD staff have been incredibly supportive for putting systems in place to support our students and families.  I am so proud of our administrative team, our teaching and classified staff, our maintenance, custodial and food service crew for coming together to put plans in place to support the Marcola community as a whole. Marcola School District is performing very well through this pandemic.  

Graduation

News Release: Mohawk High School Graduation 2020. Thank you Stacey, (Mohawk Principal).

Mohawk High School will be hosting a Graduation Parade on Saturday, June 6, starting at 11:00am.  Marcola Rd will be blocked through Marcola for approximately 90 minutes for the event.  Spectators are encouraged to line the sides of the road at a safe social distance between Farkas Lane and Wendling Road to cheer for the graduates as they make their way through town in their caps and gowns.  The graduation will be live-streamed and the link can be found on the Marcola School District web page and Facebook page prior to the event.

State School Fund and Budget:

We will be experiencing cuts in our general fund budget, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.  In the beginning we were faced with a 17% cut over the two year biennium, today we are looking at an 8% cut.  We will be getting additional federal funding through the CARES act and additional funding through a variety of reserves.  Our SIA (Student Investment Act) and Measure 98 (CTE) grants were cut by 40%, but this will not have a great impact moving forward to the 2020-21 school year.  Our school board, business manager and admin team have done a very good job of making sure we have healthy reserves to move forward through unprecedented times.  We will be tightening our belt and putting a temporary  freeze on hiring, but we will guarantee our students will receive a quality education regardless of the format we use to deliver daily instruction.

Opening Schools in the Fall:

We still have numerous questions without answers as we think about plans for opening our schools in September. Recently, I was informed that we may start school in the fall with each student having 35 square feet of space.  Our rooms are around 900 sq ft- some larger and some smaller.  Which means on average we could put up to 24 students and 1 teacher in a classroom.  However, many of our classrooms have built-in cabinets which reduces the square footage.  Therefore, we are looking at a 1 to 21 ratio in the classrooms when we start (if we can start – dependent on the virus).  We will need to fill every space in the buildings (no spaces should be empty) to serve our students.  Students would not be traveling from space to space, instead teachers and educational assistants would travel from space to space to provide instruction. However, this is only one plan and this plan may change each and every week as we learn more about the virus and its impacts on opening schools in the future.

Once again, I must reiterate the importance of keeping your children on a daily routine for their physical, intellectual, emotional and social needs during these unprecedented and challenging times.  Teachers are trying to provide daily routines for students to be successful, while realizing the amount of school work required may need to be adjusted based on the needs of each individual student.   It is very important that all students stay on a daily routine with a goal of passing all their classes this last semester.  

PLEASE STAY SAFE, I know many people think we won’t get this virus and we don’t need to wear masks or take other precautions to save ourselves and others from contacting the virus, but it’s real and becomes very real when you have a family member who has contracted the disease.  Wearing a mask is not about us, it’s about others who do not need us spreading our germs to those who are vulnerable to the disease.  Please care about others and wear a mask when you are in public places. We will succeed and overcome this pandemic if we continue to follow proper procedures and policies in place to keep us safe.

In closing, I love our Marcola Community and Staff and I have appreciated your support for the last 6 years.  Together we have made some major accomplishments for MSD and we have put Marcola on the map as a district that is innovative and progressive in the best interest of our students’ needs.  We pushed forward a proficiency based education system that focuses on “Learning as the Constant and Time as the Variable”. Our expansion of Career Tech Education in rural schools is becoming a model for other rural school districts.  Our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is also becoming a model for other school districts.  Thank you Marcola for the support you have provided for some very challenging times as we moved forward to put Marcola on the map as an innovative and creative school district.  I’m confident that your next Superintendent will continue to embrace MSD’s accomplishments and move MSD to levels well beyond my departure.  I will continue to be connected with MSD as I work to expand our Charter School TNW (TEACH North West).  As TNW expands, MSD can expand. 

Hope you all enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend, and even get out of the house (with masks on).  

Love you all,
Bill

WE APPRECIATE OUR TEACHERS !!!

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO TO SUPPORT STUDENTS

MSD AND TNW TEACHERS ARE THE BEST

As an educator (teacher and administrator) for 40 years, I’ve always said, “Teachers have the toughest job in the world and need all of the appreciation they can get.”  During these very challenging and unprecedented times, I’m hopeful that our country has a much deeper appreciation for our teachers and the service they provide to our children and their families. Working side by side with families, It is our Teacher’s job to care for and grow our country’s most important resource and asset – YOUTH.   I can’t think of any career that is more demanding and more rewarding.  Thank you MSD and TNW teachers – you are what makes our Country great.

Grading Update: (please notice we have made a few changes) 

Marcola School District and TNW will use only the Pass/Incomplete grade to measure student performance at the end of the year.  To earn a Pass – see below:

  • Students will still be required to demonstrate proficiency on assignments, projects and assessments.
  • Students will be required to check in with teachers at least twice per week.
  • Students who do not follow through with expectations for end of year grades will earn an incomplete and will have additional time to complete necessary assignments, projects and assessments.
  • We will be finishing all grades by May 29th.  Students who are passing on May 29th will earn a P on their report card.  Students who are not passing on May 29th will get additional time with their teacher for the last two weeks of school.
  • Students who are still not passing by the end of the school year, will be provided additional time through the summer and into the Fall to change their incomplete to a Pass.
  • Elementary students will have the same expectations as above for us to measure their level of performance in core content areas (reading, writing, math, science and social studies) at the end of the year.  We will most likely provide students with assessments at the beginning of next year to determine their level of proficiency before we build their individual learning plans.
  • We are not looking at credits for elementary, we are looking at academic growth and performance for appropriate supports at the beginning of the 20-21 school year.

We do have staff assigned to work directly with students who are experiencing challenges beyond their control and need extra assistance and accommodations to meet end of year expectations.  Once again, I must reiterate the importance of keeping your children on a daily routine for their physical, intellectual, emotional and social needs during these unprecedented and challenging times.  Teachers are trying to provide daily routines for students to be successful, while realizing the amount of school work required may need to be adjusted based on the needs of each individual student.   It is very important that all students stay on a daily routine with a goal of passing all their classes this last semester.

Please expect a call from your child’s teacher if your child is at risk of earning an incomplete for their end of year grade.  Thank you for your continued partnership and cooperation to help your child stay on a healthy routine with a focus of earning passing grades at the end of the year.  We all have to work together to support our most important resource – youth.

Graduation
Stacey Whaley (High School Principal) has assembled a graduation committee composed of students, staff and parents.  They are all working hard to put together a graduation ceremony that will help us all congratulate our Seniors in a way that will be memorable and meaningful. We will continue to update the community on the graduation ceremony.

Food Services
Food pick up and delivery will continue through the school year and we are looking at opportunities/funding to continue through the summer.

Distance Learning and Technology
At this point we are very proud of our staff and students for continuing teaching and learning via distance.  I know it’s not easy, but as we continue to set up routines for staff and students to connect at least twice a week, we are seeing good results.  We thank our parents for the additional support you are providing from home.

Please continue to stay safe and stay home (if you can).  Wear a mask when in public and keep your distance from others.  We will get through these challenging times and be very well prepared for any future school closures.

Dear Parents, Staff and Students,

Last week we sent an update on Grading during the school closure.  Please know these guidelines have recently changed. Due to equity issues beyond our control, Marcola School District, TNW and all other school districts in Oregon are mandated to allow students additional time and resources to earn a Pass or Incomplete grade for the end of the Spring Semester.  Schools will not be allowed to issue letter grades (A’s and B’s)  to students who choose to receive a letter grade instead of a Pass/Incomplete grade.

  • Students will still be required to demonstrate proficiency on assignments, projects and assessments.
  • Students will be required to check in with teachers at least twice per week.
  • Students who do not follow through with expectations for end of year grades will earn an incomplete and will have until the end of September to complete necessary assignments, projects and assessments.  (This allows all students to have access to the necessary resources and support necessary to complete the course).
  • Upon return to school in the Fall – all high school students who have not yet demonstrated proficiency in a course at the end of the 2019-20 school year – will be given an extra month (September) to do so.
  • Elementary students and Middle School Students will have additional (internal supports)  for us to measure their level of performance in core content areas (reading, writing, math, science and social studies) upon their return to school in the fall..
  • We are not looking at credits for elementary and middle school, we are looking at academic growth and performance for appropriate supports at the beginning of the 20-21 school year.

We will continue to have staff assigned to work directly with students who are experiencing challenges beyond their control and need extra assistance and accommodations to meet end of year expectations.

During these unprecedented and challenging times, it is very important that all students are on a daily routine for their physical, intellectual, emotional and social health.  Teachers are trying to provide daily routines for students to be successful, while realizing the amount of school work required may need to be adjusted based on the needs of each individual student.

Sincerely,

Bill Watkins
Superintendent

Grading Update:

Marcola School District and TNW are moving forward with allowing students the choice of earning a Pass/Incomplete grade or a letter grade at the end of the year: (Please know this looks different for elementary students – see below).

  • Students will still be required to demonstrate proficiency on assignments, projects and assessments.  
  • Students will be required to check in with teachers at least twice per week.  
  • Students who do not follow through with expectations for end of year grades will earn an incomplete and will have an additional 30 days beyond the last day of school to complete necessary assignments, projects and assessments.  
  • Students failing to do so will have their incomplete changed to a no credit and the no credit will be reflected on their report cards. 
  • Elementary students will have the same expectations as above for us to measure their level of performance in core content areas (reading, writing, math, science and social studies) at the end of the year.  
  • We are not looking at credits for elementary, we are looking at academic growth and performance for appropriate supports at the beginning of the 20-21 school year. 

We do have staff assigned to work directly with students who are experiencing challenges beyond their control and need extra assistance and accommodations to meet end of year expectations.  

During these unprecedented and challenging times, it is very important that all students are on a daily routine for their physical, intellectual, emotional and social health.  Teachers are trying to provide daily routines for students to be successful, while realizing the amount of school work required may need to be adjusted based on the needs of each individual student.   It is very important that all students stay on a daily routine with a goal of passing all their classes this last semester.  

Please expect a call from your child’s teacher if your child is at risk of earning an incomplete for their end of year grade.  Thank you for your continued partnership and cooperation to help your child stay on a healthy routine with a focus of earning passing grades at the end of the year.  We all have to work together to support our most important resource – youth.

State School Fund and Marcola School District Budget for the 2020-21 school year:

We were looking forward to a 9 billion dollar State School Fund (SSF) to carry us into the 2020-21 school year.  We have built our Marcola 2020-21 budget on a 9 billion dollar SSF.  Moving forward we are putting in place different scenarios based on incremental cuts in the State School Fund.  Below are some talking points we will need to consider prior to approving a budget:

  • Oregon is looking at an 8.5% reduction in revenues applied equally across all state programs. An 8.5% reduction in the SSF is equivalent to 650 million dollars.
  • Every 100 million cut from the SSF is equivalent to a 2 to 2.5% cut in revenue for school districts state-wide.
  • Oregon is getting close to the point where State Revenues are not enough for existing state expenditures.
  • Nationally – some states are looking at up to 38% in cuts to their State School Funds.

We have our first budget committee meeting on Monday, and we will be presenting a few different scenarios to make sure we have the necessary revenue to continue school next year without cutting positions.  Hiring new positions will definitely not be in the budget for 2020-21 unless we get better revenue projections at the end of May this year.

Graduation

Stacey Whaley (High School Principal) has assembled a graduation committee composed of students, staff and parents.  They are all working hard to put together a virtual graduation ceremony that will help us all congratulate our Seniors in a way that will be memorable and meaningful for all. Since 2014, the class of 2020 has had a tremendous positive impact on the culture of our school and community – we will miss this class dearly. We will continue to update the community on the graduation ceremony.  

Food Services

Food pick up and delivery will continue through the school year and we are looking at opportunities/funding to continue through the summer.

Distance Learning and Technology

At this point we are very proud of our staff and students for continuing teaching and learning via distance.  I know it’s not easy, but as we continue to set up routines for staff and students to connect at least twice a week, we are seeing good results.  We thank our parents for the additional support you are providing from home. 

Please continue to stay safe and stay home (if you can).  Wear a mask when in public and keep your distance from others.  We will get through these challenging times and be very well prepared for any future school closures.  

 

This update is focused on our High School Seniors.  Marcola School District is focusing on the individual needs of each student.  We understand that the closure of school during the last quarter of their K-12 education has been devastating in so many ways.  We also understand that students and families are experiencing personal challenges during these unprecedented times. The last quarter of a Senior’s K-12 education is less than 2% of the time they have spent in schools and classrooms preparing for their future beyond high school.  Seniors who were passing all their classes at the end of the 3rd quarter will not be required to learn new content and will receive the grade they were earning when schools closed. Students who want to improve their grade will work with their classroom teachers to do so. All teachers will provide students opportunities to review and learn at deeper levels the content that has already been taught with a focus on career guidance for plans beyond high school.  We do expect all Seniors to complete their senior projects and present to their advisor/teachers a minimum of three career paths. We will continue to work with each individual student to support their efforts to graduate and pursue their career plans beyond high school.

OREGON SCHOOLS ARE IN DISTANCE LEARNING MODE FOR ALL FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SCHOOL YEAR!

Distance Learning For All: 

This has not changed, and MSD is in full Distance Learning Mode and has been since the week before Spring Break. 

Stay Home, Save Lives” order by Governor Brown will continue through the remainder of the school year.  Students and Staff will not be returning to schools this school year. Marcola School District moved to Distance Learning the week before Spring Break and we have conducted school virtually ever since.   Please know, we do expect our students to stay connected with their teacher and continue to learn each and every day with support from our staff. Please contact the school at 541-933-2512 if you have questions, suggestions, needs or you have been unable to connect with their teacher(s).   It is our goal to help all our students continue their education. 

Recommended maximum daily guidelines for Teacher – Led Learning during Distance Learning For All:

  • Grades K-1 – 45 minutes
  • Grades 2-3 – 60 minutes
  • Grades 4-5 – 90 minutes
  • Grades 6-12 – 20-30 minutes per teacher, no more than 3 hours per day.

Please know the daily guidelines are only suggestions for direct instruction in front of a digital device.  Remember that Learning can take place from anywhere at any time and learning should always be the constant with time being the variable.  Teachers are trying to provide projects and activities that don’t always require a student to be in front of a computer. As students spend time on a project or activity – they can always take pictures and videos and forward them on to their teacher(s).

Graduation and Credits?

We have received clarification on Graduation Requirements.  All Seniors will still need 24 credits to graduate, however we are not adding much new information, instead we are reviewing the Learning Targets we have covered and using this last quarter to dig down a little deeper and build projects and activities around past learning targets. The modification of instruction described for seniors is true for all other grades.  We have a team of teachers and educational assistants who are connecting with all Seniors (particularly those who were at risk of graduating) to make sure they have the necessary resources to finish their Senior year and graduate.  

Technology:

Marcola School District is putting solutions in place for families who have either a poor connection to the internet, or no internet at all.  Please contact the school district at 541-933-2512 if you need assistance with technology.  

Monitoring Technology and Virtual Communication:

Teachers are using google classroom and google meet as a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver instruction and receive feedback from students.  Please know google meet does have a chat feature and we do monitor all conversations – if it’s inappropriate we can block the student from using the chat feature.  Our monitoring system (Securly) also tracks any comments that may indicate a student is not safe.  

Digital Citizenship: (We will hold students responsible for following our Digital Citizenship Standards.)

As we continue to provide a distance learning education to our students, which in most cases require the use of digital learning tools, we require our students to follow the Digital Citizenship Responsibilities for success : (See Below)

  1. I can recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning, and working in an interconnected digital world and can act in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
  2. I demonstrate and advocate for positive, safe, legal and ethical habits when using technology and when interacting with others online
  3. I manage my digital identities and reputations within school policy, including demonstrating and understanding of how digital actions are never erasable.

Food Service: We are continuing to offer pick up and delivery of food to our families every Monday and Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.  Huge thanks to our staff who have agreed to assist with food service – you’re amazing. If you know of someone who may need assistance with food service, please contact us at 541-933-2512.

Students, Credits and Graduation: 

  • Mohawk High School is continuing virtual education and all students can access their teacher and course assignments through Google Classroom.  
  • All teachers will be connecting with students at a minimum of two times per week.
  • We will offer students extended time and support in the summer to complete courses.
  • Our web-site has some excellent resources for parents, students and staff.  Teachers will also be sharing additional resources.
  • Graduation Ceremony is in question and most likely will need to be modified.
  • ESSA Waiver for Cancelling SBAC (Testing) has been approved (No Testing)

Emergency Child Care: 

  • Marcola School District will most likely be partnering with other school districts or agencies to provide Emergency Child Care.
  • We are waiting for more guidance from ODE and OHA.

Essential Services: 

We have all been ordered to stay home unless you provide an essential service.  Food Service, Maintenance and Cleaning, Delivery of services (Transportation), are all essential services. Please stay home.

Essential Services for yourself:

  • Get sufficient sleep
  • Take regular breaks
  • Exercise
  • Eat well
  • Connect with others (virtually)
  • Take some time alone
  • Take the time off that you are given
  • Balance giving and receiving support
  • Go for a hike
  • Tell your partner you love them
  • Hug your child
  • Walk your dog/pet your cat
  • Create art
  • Build something
  • Make a donation
  • Write about your experience in a journal
  • Utilize a self-care ‘buddy’ system
  • Balance work, play, and rest.

 

Distance Learning For All: 

This has not changed, and MSD is in full Distance Learning Mode and has been since the week before Spring Break. 

“Stay Home, Save Lives” order by Governor Brown is requiring all school districts to come up with a plan for implementing Distance Learning instead of Supplemental Learning.  The Department of Education foresees the strong possibility that our students may not come back through our school house doors this academic year. Marcola School District moved to Distance Learning the week before Spring Break and we have conducted school virtually now for 6 days.  All other districts in Oregon are required to put systems in place by April 13th. Please know, we do expect our students to stay connected with their teacher and continue to learn each and every day with support from our staff. Please contact the school at 541-933-2512 if you have questions, suggestions or needs.  It is our goal to help all our students continue their education.

Recommended maximum daily guidelines for Teacher – Led Learning during Distance Learning For All:

  • Grades K-1 – 45 minutes
  • Grades 2-3 – 60 minutes
  • Grades 4-5 – 90 minutes
  • Grades 6-12 – 20-30 minutes per teacher, no more than 3 hours per day.

Graduation?

We have not received any clarification on Graduation Ceremonies – too early to call right now.  We are holding Seniors responsible to complete all the courses they need to satisfy current graduation requirements of 24 credits.  If we need to be very creative to have a virtual graduation ceremony (and I hope we don’t), we will do so.  

Technology:

Marcola School District is putting solutions in place for families who have either a poor connection to the internet, or no internet at all.  Please contact the school district at 541-933-2512 if you need assistance with technology.  

Monitoring Technology and Virtual Communication:

Teachers are using google classroom and google meet as a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver instruction and receive feedback from students.  Please know google meet does have a chat feature and we do monitor all conversations – if it’s inappropriate we can block the student from using the chat feature.  Our monitoring system (Secular) also tracks any comments that may indicate a student is not safe.  

Digital Citizenship: (We will hold students responsible for following our Digital Citizenship Standards.)

As we continue to provide a distance learning education to our students, which in most cases require the use of digital learning tools, we require our students to follow the Digital Citizenship Responsibilities for success : (See Below)

  1. I can recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning, and working in an interconnected digital world and can act in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
  2. I demonstrate and advocate for positive, safe, legal and ethical habits when using technology and when interacting with others online
  3. I manage my digital identities and reputations within school policy, including demonstrating and understanding of how digital actions are never erasable.

Food Service: We are continuing to offer pick up and delivery of food to our families every Monday and Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.  Huge thanks to our staff who have agreed to assist with food service – you’re amazing. If you know of someone who may need assistance with food service, please contact us at 541-933-2512.

Students, Credits and Graduation: 

  • ODE is currently reviewing possible revisions to graduation requirements for Seniors (No Changes Yet)
  • Mohawk High School is continuing virtual education and all students can access their teacher and course assignments through Google Classroom.  We want our Seniors to graduate with 24 credits on their Transcript and we want all of our high school students to stay on track for earning the 24 credits necessary for graduation.
  • All teachers will be connecting with students at a minimum of two times per week.
  • We will offer students extended time and support in the summer to complete courses.
  • Our web-site has some excellent resources for parents, students and staff.  Teachers will also be sharing additional resources.
  • Graduation date has not changed (until further notice)
  • ESSA Waiver for Cancelling SBAC (Testing) has been approved (No Testing)

Emergency Child Care: 

  • Marcola School District will most likely be partnering with other school districts or agencies to provide Emergency Child Care.
  • We are waiting for more guidance from ODE and OHA.

Essential Services: 

We have all been ordered to stay home unless you provide an essential service.  Food Service, Maintenance and Cleaning, Delivery of services (Transportation), are all essential services. Please stay home.

Essential Services for yourself:

  • Get sufficient sleep
  • Take regular breaks
  • Exercise
  • Eat well
  • Connect with others (virtually)
  • Take some time alone
  • Take the time off that you are given
  • Balance giving and receiving support
  • Go for a hike
  • Tell your partner you love them
  • Hug your child
  • Walk your dog/pet your cat
  • Create art
  • Build something
  • Make a donation
  • Write about your experience in a journal
  • Utilize a self-care ‘buddy’ system
  • Balance work, play, and rest.

 

Distance Learning For All:

“Stay Home, Save Lives” order by Governor Brown is requiring all school districts to come up with a plan for implementing Distance Learning instead of Supplemental Learning.  The Department of Education foresees the strong possibility that our students may not come back through our school house doors this academic year. Marcola School District moved to Distance Learning the week before Spring Break and we have conducted school virtually now for 6 days.  All other districts in Oregon are required to put systems in place by April 13th. Please know, we do expect our students to stay connected with their teacher and continue to learn each and every day with support from our staff. Please contact the school at 541-933-2512 if you have questions, suggestions or needs.  It is our goal to help all our students continue their education.

Recommended maximum daily guidelines for Teacher – Led Learning during Distance Learning For All:

  • Grades K-1 – 45 minutes
  • Grades 2-3 – 60 minutes
  • Grades 4-5 – 90 minutes
  • Grades 6-12 – 20-30 minutes per teacher, no more than 3 hours per day.

Technology:

Marcola School District is putting solutions in place for families who have either a poor connection to the internet, or no internet at all.  Please contact the school district at 541-933-2512 if you need assistance with technology.

Monitoring Technology and Virtual Communication:

Teachers are using google classroom and google meet as a Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver instruction and receive feedback from students.  Please know google meet does have a chat feature and we do monitor all conversations – if it’s inappropriate we can block the student from using the chat feature.  Our monitoring system (Secular) also tracks any comments that may indicate a student is not safe.

Food Service: We are continuing to offer pick up and delivery of food to our families every Monday and Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.  Huge thanks to our staff who have agreed to assist with food service – you’re amazing. If you know of someone who may need assistance with food service, please contact us at 541-933-2512.

Students, Credits and Graduation: 

  • ODE is currently reviewing possible revisions to graduation requirements for Seniors (No Changes Yet)
  • Mohawk High School is continuing virtual education and all students can access their teacher and course assignments through Google Classroom.  We want our Seniors to graduate with 24 credits on their Transcript and we want all of our high school students to stay on track for earning the 24 credits necessary for graduation.
  • All teachers will be connecting with students at a minimum of two times per week.
  • We will offer students extended time and support in the summer to complete courses.
  • Our web-site has some excellent resources for parents, students and staff.  Teachers will also be sharing additional resources.
  • Graduation date has not changed (until further notice)
  • ESSA Waiver for Cancelling SBAC (Testing) has been approved (No Testing)

Emergency Child Care: 

  • Marcola School District will most likely be partnering with other school districts or agencies to provide Emergency Child Care.
  • We are waiting for more guidance from ODE and OHA.

Essential Services: 

We have all been ordered to stay home unless you provide an essential service.  Food Service, Maintenance and Cleaning, Delivery of services (Transportation), are all essential services. Please stay home.

Essential Services for yourself:

Get sufficient sleep • Take regular breaks • Exercise • Eat well • Connect with others (virtually) • Take some time alone • Take the time off that you are given • Balance giving and receiving support • Go for a hike • Tell your partner you love them • Hug your child • Walk your dog/pet your cat  • Create art • Build something • Make a donation • Write about your experience in a journal • Utilize a self-care ‘buddy’ system • Balance work, play, and rest.

March 29, 2020

Our community, our state, and much of the world are now dealing with an unprecedented public health crisis. We hope that you and your family are safe and healthy.

Public schools are part of the essential social fabric and economy of our communities. We know that the current school closure has caused difficulties for many families who rely on their schools for meals, health care, and a safe place to be during the day. It has also caused concern for school employees and their families. We want you to reassure you, per Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-08, that all school employees will be paid and no one will lose their job because they are sick or because it would put their health, or the health of someone they live with, at risk to work.

We want to thank all of our members and educators. Thank you all for your dedication to our children, families, and to each other. Thank you for your patience as we deal with this crisis and the unimaginable impacts on our schools and students. Thank you for your understanding as we try to answer your questions and meet the challenges each day brings. We know that your communities are looking to you for answers and guidance and you have been asked to provide stability in a time of confusion, fear, and uncertainty.

Our organizations believe it is critical for our members to prioritize the tasks the Governor has asked us to complete and work together to ensure that your health and safety, and the health and safety of the students we serve, are at the forefront. We are asking you to show each other patience, grace and understanding as we work through all of the unknown challenges on the horizon. Our communities need clear and consistent information from teachers, educators, classified staff, administrators, and school board members to help reassure them that we are doing everything we can for their children.

With that in mind we want to share with you our recommendations for a set of guiding principles for collaboration and cooperation during these unheard-of circumstances:

1. School districts, charter schools, and ESDs have been directed to meet the requirements of the governor’s executive orders, and those requirements include tasks that require staff to be present in buildings. This may mean staff will be asked to complete work assignments outside of their normal duties, consistent with the governor’s executive order (e.g. a principal asked to deliver meals, a teacher asked to provide childcare). School districts should:

  • Facilitate telework and work-from-home for employees, as appropriate
  • Limit staff-to-staff and staff-to-student contact to that required to fulfill the governor’s executive order

2. Employees who disclose that they are at high risk, or live with someone who is at high risk, should not be asked to provide medical verification or a doctor’s note at this time. Now is not the time to place additional strain or burden on our medical professionals, but staff may be accountable if they provide false information.

3. Each district should establish a clear and consistent district-wide protocol for employees to disclose that they are at high-risk or live with someone who is at high-risk. The specifics of that disclosure should be confidential.

4. District employees who fall into a high-risk category, or who live with an individual in a highrisk category, should not be required to physically report to work. They are required to telework or provide out-of-office services as worked out by the district. High-risk, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA), means anyone meeting any of the following criteria:

a. Aged 60+

b. Lung disease, including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen

c. Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, receiving an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV with a CD4 count <200)

d. Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners)

e. Chronic kidney disease

f. Chronic liver disease

g. Current or recent pregnancy (in the last two weeks)

h. Diabetes, or other endocrine disorders

i. Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)

j. Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)

k. Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions

5. Consistent with CDC and OHA guidelines, employees who are sick or who are exhibiting flulike symptoms should not physically report to work.

6. Staff who are asked to report to work and do not fall into a high-risk category or do not live with someone in a high-risk category should report. If they cannot or will not physically report, for another reason, they should use appropriate leave for the hours they are not working in order to receive their regular pay.

7. When district employees are required to physically report to work, social distancing guidelines should be followed as closely as possible, with minimal exceptions being made to fulfill essential services. That includes maintaining at least six feet of distance between individuals to the extent possible, while still providing essential services required by the governor’s executive order. Employees called back to work should be working in a sanitized environment. Given the inability to follow full distancing recommendations in all situations, such as childcare settings, employees should follow CDC, OHA and Early Learning Division guidance.

8. District employees who have children who are unable to care for themselves at home and who do not have childcare due to COVID-19 closures, may take advantage of childcare provided by the district or community-based childcare providers, if it is available. Otherwise, these district employees should not be required to physically report to work, but they are subject to telework and other out-of-office services as worked out with the district. A school employee will not be required to bring their child to work.

9. If employees feel they are in imminent danger or being asked to work in unsafe conditions, those concerns should be immediately reported to the staff member required to monitor and enforce social distancing requirements per guidance from ODE, or to their staff supervisor.

10. No school employee should suffer a loss in pay during the school closure as outlined by the Governor’s Executive Order 20-08. With the exception of situations detailed in point #6 in this document, employees should not be required to use accrued leave during school closure.

11. While employers have the authority to assign all staff duties to implement the requirements of the governor’s executive order regardless of the provisions of current CBAs, school district CBA provisions that are not in conflict with the governor’s executive orders remain in place.

We are all in this crisis together, and each of you is critical to our mission of providing essential services to our community, which includes our students. When our schools are in crisis, our community looks to all of us to pull together and deliver unified services and messages that are supportive of our students and families and help reassure them that we are doing everything we can to guide them. It is more critical than ever that we collaborate to maintain consistent and unified communications from our organizations and members.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any additional information about our efforts to support you as you support our students.

John Larson, President of Oregon Education Association

Jim Green, Executive Director of Oregon School Boards Association

Craig Hawkins, Executive Director of Confederation of School Administrators

Susan Miller, Director of Field Operations for Oregon School Employees Association, AFT 6732

Gary Peterson, Executive Director of Oregon Association of Education Service Districts

Original Document Release

This is a message to explain MSD is currently providing virtual instruction for our students.  During unprecedented times, Marcola School District has put plans in place to provide an instructional program for all of our students during the school closure. Our teachers will connect with their students and families (virtually) and provide information to help you support instruction at home and provide you and your student(s) with resources to continue education through the school year. Please go to our website and/or call the school at 541-933-2512 if you need more information.  If you have not heard from your child’s teacher by Tuesday, March 31st, please call. Please take care of your family and stay home, unless it’s an emergency.

Update as of Tuesday, March 24th.

As we enter day 2 of Spring Break, I know we are all inundated with emails, phone calls, zoom meetings, and those darn Superintendent Updates.  For that reason, I will try to keep my updates short and to the point.

Again, thank you all for your dedication to our children, families, staff and yourself.  Thank you for your patience as we experience unprecedented times in the process of providing a Fair and Appropriate Public Education for all students.  It’s not easy and we have all assumed an enormous responsibility to work through these challenges in the best interest of our kids and community.

Food Service: We will continue to offer pick up and delivery of food to our families every Monday and Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.  Huge thanks to our staff who have agreed to assist with food service – you’re amazing. If you know of someone who may need assistance with food service, please contact us at 541-933-2512.

Students, Credits and Graduation: 

  • ODE is currently reviewing possible revisions to graduation requirements for Seniors
  • Mohawk High School is continuing virtual education and all students can access their teacher and course assignments through Google Classroom.  
  • All teachers will be connecting with students at a minimum of two times per week.
  • We will offer students extended time and support in the summer to complete courses.
  • Our web-site has some excellent resources for parents, students and staff.  Teachers will also be sharing additional resources.
  • Graduation date has not changed (until further notice)
  • ESSA Waiver for Cancelling SBAC (Testing) has been approved (No Testing)

Emergency Child Care: 

  • Marcola School District will most likely be partnering with other school districts or agencies to provide Emergency Child Care.
  • We are waiting for more guidance from ODE and OHA.

Essential Services

We have all been ordered to stay home unless you provide an essential service.  Food Service, Maintenance and Cleaning, Delivery of services (Transportation), are all essential services.

Essential Services for yourself:

Get sufficient sleep • Take regular breaks • Exercise • Eat well • Connect with others (virtually) • Take some time alone • Take the time off that you are given • Balance giving and receiving support • Go for a hike • Tell your partner you love them • Hug your child • Walk your dog/pet your cat  • Create art • Build something • Make a donation • Write about your experience in a journal • Utilize a self-care ‘buddy’ system • Balance work, play, and rest.  

Update as of Monday, March 23rd.

As promised, I will be checking in with staff, students and community on a regular basis to provide ongoing, updated information.  I have another meeting on Tuesday with ODE and Superintendents to discuss any changes in our plans to continue providing essential needs for our families.

A big THANK YOU to our staff who have the capacity to help with food service, online/virtual instruction and possibly day care for our parents who are providing essential services for our communities.  Those who cannot leave their homes for any reason – I understand. My 90 year old mother lives with us and I’m being extra careful not to expose her to what could be a life ending illness. With that said, I know those of you who do not have the capacity to help outside of your home, I know you are still going above and beyond for your family, neighbors and community as a whole.  Thank you!

Our students—Our students have been checking in with teachers and support staff in a virtual environment at least twice a week, more if necessary.  We know the sudden loss of the consistency and structure in a traditional brick and mortar education setting can be challenging. Fortunately, our students have been trained to access and use technology in a virtual setting to continue their education.  Thank you teachers and support staff for consistently checking in with students and families – students are comforted when they connect with you.

Essential Services—Some of you have been wondering about new calls for social distancing (Register Guard article) and what it means to remain open as an “essential service” (e.g. businesses) or go out (doctor appt. or grocery stores, walk in the neighborhood, etc.).

School Districts, under the Governor’s Executive order, were put in paid status in an effort to provide and ensure essential services are available to students (food, supplementary education) and to medical providers and first responders (childcare). We are operating, and will continue to operate, as an essential service entity until different explicit guidance is provided. It is a new way of thinking as we work under emergency conditions, but it makes sense that we would be called upon to do this critical work given our knowledge of working with children, our capacity to feed them, and our available spaces to open child care. And, as our community is reeling from the loss of work, we have been prioritized, in paid status, to provide these essential services. I know that some of our own families and acquaintances are already feeling the economic hardship from lost wages.  In regards to food services for our community we will continue to provide pick-up and deliver for families – even through Spring Break. We may do one Pick-Up and Delivery for the whole week to minimize physical contact. We ask families who need to pick up to please send only one person and families who need food to be delivered to please know we may set the bag of food outside of your door if no one is home. We anticipate that you (Staff) will be hearing about family needs that we may or may not be able to address. Please report all of these to your building leader.

High School and Graduation–We know this is a big question for everyone. We fully expect that all of our Seniors will be on track for graduation as we continue to function as a virtual school.  All of our high school students still have access to all their courses and should not lose any opportunity to earn credit in any one of their classes.

Childcare— I will know more about childcare after Tuesday’s meeting.  I do know that Shana Hockema is working with United Way, staff, administration and volunteers to come up with a plan for providing day care for our parents who are providing essential services on their job.

I’m continually amazed with our staff and community for your continued support in the best interest of our students and families.  Thank you Marcola!!

Bill

First and foremost, I commend our staff, community and students for all your efforts to make sure our community can and will survive the coronavirus challenges.  Marcola School District was well prepared for a school closure. Our students, teachers and families have experienced virtual and hybrid instruction for the past 5 years when we made sure we are a 1:1 (student to digital device) district.  We know we have some families who have poor connectivity or no connectivity to the internet and we are putting solutions in place that will allow all families to access the internet at no charge. We are creating a list of families who need technical support and we will be helping these families during and after Spring Break.  Our SpEd and SEL (Social Emotional Learning) team has done a great job of connecting to the families and students who need additional support and we are continuing to do so. 

We encourage families who can access our website, to do so on a daily basis.  We are adding instructional support resources and day to day, hour to hour information as we receive the day to day, hour to hour information to report.  Please know the information changes rapidly.

Most importantly, I want our families, staff and students to know we (our admin team and staff) are here to help you function through some very challenging times.  Please take care of yourselves and your family and make sure you’re checking in with Grandma and Grandpa and neighbors on a daily basis. Let’s all take care of each other – it’s the Marcola way.

I just finished our ODE Superintendent Meeting regarding procedures and policies for finishing the 2019-20 school year. I will share that Marcola School District is far beyond other districts when it comes to preparing for school closures and providing students with a virtual opportunity to continue their instructional program. Below are the topics of discussion for districts to tackle before bringing this school year and this virus to an end.

Childcare guidance: 

  • Not all school districts will be set up to deliver services for kids 0-5 years of age
  • MSD is reaching out to parents who are healthcare workers and may need child care to put plans in place after Spring Break.  Currently – it’s only health care workers who would qualify.
  • Schools will not be providing 24 hour care.

Meal Service Updates:

  • MSD will be fully reimbursed for providing food service to our families. 
  • All of our students are eligible and we will be reimbursed. 
  • All MSD families can pick up food for their children at designated times.  Families who need food delivery need to call the school and provide us with your information. 

Seniors Graduating on Time:

  • The state is proposing different minimum requirement for our seniors to graduate, however this has not yet been confirmed. Minimum requirements could be as low as 19 credits – we want our students to earn the full 24 credits with special considerations for students who need more support.
  • Marcola School District is proficiency based and we are requiring our seniors to check in to their class/teacher on a regular basis to earn the full complement of credits for a diploma.
  • The proposal for minimum credit requirements would most likely allow all of our Seniors to graduate – but they would not have the full 24 credits required for graduation (this year only).  
  • We have some Seniors who may need additional support to finish their course work and be a legit graduate with 24 credits.  We have other seniors who can graduate now or no longer need to take a full load of classes and we can modify their schedule to meet their needs.

SBAC Testing:

  • In the next 24 hours, I’m very confident that we will get a notice all testing has been cancelled.
  • Please keep your own work samples and evidence of growth/proficiency to demonstrate that we are keeping our students accountable.

If you have questions or concerns please call the school district at 541-933-2512 and leave a message or send me an email at bwatkins@marcola.k12.or.us.  Let’s keep a close eye on the physical, intellectual, emotional and social well being of our most important asset – our kids.

Stay Healthy my Friends,

Bill

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