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Oregon schools will be closed through April 28 to slow the spread of coronavirus, meals will be available for students

COURTESY PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS - Schools across the state will be closed through the end of April.

During a statewide closure of schools that is expected to last through Tuesday, April 28, students in the Estacada School District will continue learning through virtual school days.

On Tuesday, March 17, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced the extended school closure to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has become a global pandemic. Initially, Brown said Oregon schools would be closed through Tuesday, March 31.

"I do not take the decision to extend school closures lightly," Brown said. "This will have real impacts on Oregon's students, parents, and educators. But we must act now to flatten the curve and slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon. Otherwise, we face a higher strain on our medical system and greater loss of life to this disease."

School districts are to continue to provide students and their families with the supplemental services families have come to rely on, such as meals, mental health services through the Oregon Department of Education and child care for emergency first responders and essential health care personnel.

Districts are to pay employees during the closure, Brown said.

In Estacada, students will continue their learning by participating in virtual school days, a program that the school district developed last year for inclement weather closures. School leaders noted that the program had an attendance rate of more than 85% for the week of March 16.

During the closure, meals will be available for all students 18 and younger via bus delivery or from 9:30-10:15 a.m. at Wade Creek Park and 10:30-11:15 a.m. at the parking lot by the Estacada Fire Station.

At Summit Learning Charter, campuses are closed, and online classes are continuing as scheduled.

"We know this is a trying time and that the closure of our schools is a challenge, but we are fortunate to have had the foresight to prepare for this development. We will continue to provide meals and Virtual School Days during the extended closure, but will be making some slight adjustments to accommodate the extended closure," Estacada School District Superintendent Ryan Carpenter wrote in a letter to families.


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