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During April emergency closure, only Corbett schools plan online learning and state testing is likely scrapped

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - West Gresham Elmentary School is one of more than a dozen sites where hungry families can pick up free meals as schools remain closed through April 28.

Gresham-area schools are providing free meals and help with keeping kids learning as the extended school closures continue until April 28.

"We know that this is a challenging time. Information is changing constantly. Please know that we are doing our best to communicate directly with you as decisions are made," the Gresham-Barlow School District said on its website.

On March 17, Gov. Kate Brown ordered all schools in the state to remain closed until April 28, as a way to stanch the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Kids stuck at home can't even blow off steam at the school playground, however. Like state parks and local play areas, school playgrounds and campuses are closed to prevent the spread of the virus.

It is unlikely standardized state tests will be administered in Oregon this school year. The Oregon Department of Education has received a "conditional" testing waiver from the U.S. Department of Education but has not yet formally heard about the application.

Of the East Multnomah County school districts, only tiny Corbett School District will convert to online education for students.

Corbett plans to restart school Wednesday, April 1, by teaching its 1,200 students online, and conducting the remainder of the school year as originally scheduled.

Corbett Superintendent Randy Trani said that the district is on target to meet that plan.

Gresham-Barlow said many of the district's teachers will provide "supplemental learning" to its 11,800 students through internet tools Clever and Google Classroom beginning April 6. Parents report that some teachers are communicating with students via email, encouraging them to read daily and suggesting learning activities.

Districts are also working on plans to check out computer tablets to students who do not have access to computers at home.

The Oregon Department of Education is working with school districts to make sure "that our high school seniors graduate on time with the credits they need to transition to the next phase of their lives. Statewide planning is currently underway regarding credit requirements, essential skills, proficiency, and targeted instruction," the Centennial School District, which has 6,000 students, said on its website.

The districts are providing meals during the shutdown, as Gov. Kate Brown required in her order shuttering the schools until the end of April.

Gresham Barlow School District is providing free grab and go meals to students ages 1-18. Meals will be available from 8:30-9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at:

- Clear Creek Middle School, 219 N.E. 219th Ave.

- Gordon Russell Middle School, 3625 S.E. Powell Valley Road

- Hall Elementary School, 2505 N.E. 23rd St.

- Highland Elementary School, 295 N.E. 24th St.

- Hogan Cedars Elementary School, 1770 S.E. Fleming Ave.

- North Gresham Elementary School, 1001 S.E. 217th Ave.

- East Gresham Elementary School, 900 S.E. Fifth St.

- Kelly Creek Elementary School, 2400 S.E. Baker Way

- West Gresham Elementary School, 330 W. Powell Blvd.

The district is also using vans and school buses to distribute free meals to students at 31 sites around Gresham, including apartment complexes and parks.

Reynolds School District, where 79% of its 10,700 students qualify for free or reduced price lunches, will begin offering take home meals starting Monday, March 30, at four locations. Reynolds plans to increase the number of locations beginning Monday, April 1, but does not plan to use buses or vans to deliver meals to places around the district.

Reynolds School District is serving bagged breakfast and lunch at the following locations by drive-up or walk-up from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday:

- H.B. Lee Middle School, 1121 N.E. 172nd Ave.

- Reynolds Middle School, 1200 N.E. 201st Ave.

- Walt Morey Middle School, 2801 S.W. Lucas Ave.

- Reynolds High School, 1698 S.W. Cherry Park Road

"We have incredibly compassionate and hard-working staff in our Nutrition Services department and other support departments, who are helping with the distribution of meals to our students while we are closed. The first week of distribution, March 16th through the 20th, our staff distributed over 20,000 bagged breakfasts and lunches," Stephanie Field, director of communications and community relations said via email.

Centennial School District will have take-away breakfast and lunch available from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at:

- Powell Butte Elementary School, 3615 S.E. 174th Ave.

- Meadows Elementary School, 18009 S.E. Brooklyn St.

- Parklane Elementary School, 15811 S.E. Main St.

- Patrick Lynch Elementary School, 1546 S.E. 169th Place

There will also be delivery to some sites, but the stops, days and times were not available by press time.

Trani said Corbett School District will provide grab-and-go meals for students, but the plan was not finalized as of Tuesday, March 24.

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For more information

Schools are updating information on their websites and sending emails to families.

Visit:

Gresham-Barlow School District at: gresham.k12.or.us

Reynolds School District at: reynolds.k12.or.us

Centennial School District at: csd28j.org

Corbett School District at: corbett.k12.or.us


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