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School tests out staff-only day to prepare for possibility of more closures due to coronavirus

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - The parking lot at Jesuit High School sits nearly empty Wednesday morning, March 4, as the school closed for a day to prepare a plan for remote learning. The closure was announced shortly after Oregon confirmed its first few presumptive cases of the novel coronavirus.Schools throughout the Portland metro area say they are monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus daily, and one school will close for a day in preparation.

Jesuit High School, a private college-preparatory high school near Beaverton, will close school to students Wednesday, March 4. A school secretary confirmed the closure was planned last weekend, after the announcement of Oregon's first presumptive COVID-19 case.

"We are having a professional development day for our faculty and staff tomorrow (Wednesday, March 4th) to allow them time to prepare even more proactively in the event an extended school closure may be required at some point in the future," Erika Tuenge, vice president of communications and public affairs for Jesuit, said Tuesday. "This is consistent with the CDC's and Archdiocese of Portland's recommendations that schools prepare for the possibility of extended remote learning, with a minimum of disruption to teaching and learning."

Tuenge said the staff-only day will allow the school to develop a plan for digital-based learning if that becomes a necessity. Other school activities were not canceled.

"Although we are not holding classes for our students on Wednesday, co-curricular activities that afternoon and evening (practices, games, etc.) will continue as scheduled," Tuenge added.

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