Canby schools remain open, activities canceled
Amid widespread closures and cancellations due to COVID-19, Canby schools will remain open. However, all "non-essential" school-related activities are canceled until further notice.
The school district released an updated letter from the superintendent on Thursday, March 12, following guidance from Oregon's Governor Kate Brown the day before.
Brown's rules include canceling large gatherings over 250 people statewide, effective immediately, for the next four weeks and keeping schools open but canceling non-essential school-associated gatherings.
According to the district's letter, canceled activities include assemblies, athletics, large events, competitions and field trips.
The Oregon Schools Activities Association canceled all winter sports state championships, including the dance and drill competition that Canby's five-time state championship team was looking forward to.
For the younger kids, the regional and state Oregon Battle of the Books competitions have been canceled along with the boys' state basketball championship.
Also among canceled events is the state FFA convention, which was scheduled for March 19-22. Oregon FFA announced Thursday that they will not reschedule the event, but that they will reschedule "the components" of the convention.
"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," Goodall said in his letter. "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."
The district is following the guidance of not only the governor, but also health authorities.
The overarching guidance from all sources is to wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, cover mouths when coughing or sneezing, avoid large crowds and stay home if you're feeling ill, only returning to school or work when fever-free for 24 hours.
The Oregon Education Association on Thursday called on school districts to take extra precautionary measures to protect vulnerable students and educators from exposure, to maintain student access to nutritional meals even in the event of long-term closures, and to place educators on paid administrative leave if they are not able to report to schools due to self-quarantine or closures.
"Protecting the health and wellness of students, educators and families remains the top priority of our organization," said OEA President John Larson. "As the number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus continues to climb, we are committed to working with local, state and federal officials to ensure that our students and educators are protected during this outbreak."
According to the school district, custodians will continue to prioritize disinfecting high-touch surfaces in classrooms and common areas, and they will make sure schools have adequate cleaning supplies.
To see the district's COVID-19 updates, visit the website at canby.k12.or.us/.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.