Silver Falls School District Families,
With the number of confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Oregon increasing, Governor Brown announced new guidance tonight regarding group gatherings and social distancing. We join with other districts in Oregon in our commitment to keeping our schools open and safe. Per the guidance from the Governor’s Office this evening, and in an effort to reduce opportunities for the virus to spread, we are announcing the cancellation or postponement of all non-essential school activities, effective immediately.
Please note that this is a purely preventative measure. At this time there are no cases of coronavirus in Silver Falls Schools.
This action is effective as of Thursday, March 12, and will remain in effect for 30 days, as per the Governor’s guidance. Cancelled activities include all school-based assemblies and events, field-trips, and meetings. Furthermore, in accordance with the Governor’s messaging and the guidance of the OSAA, athletics activities will have no audience admission for the duration of this action. Further changes may occur, and further activities altered or cancelled, as we meet with appropriate personnel in the coming days. As those changes occur, we will notify you as soon as is possible.
Our top priority is that we maintain the ability to offer a safe education for our students, and a safe working environment for district employees. All decisions we make in the coming days will be to that end. We consider it a top priority to keep our schools open.
We recognize that the cancellation of activities will impact you and your family, and we recognize that many students, staff members, and others will be disappointed by the prospect of potentially missing out on activities, performances, and other events that so greatly enhance the educational experience. Rest assured that we are committed to supporting our staff members and students as we work through this situation, and that we will encourage all interested parties to find ways to postpone, rather than to cancel, the activities mentioned above wherever possible. We believe this suspension of activities is the most responsible action we can take given the stewardship we bear.
We further recognize that there are situations wherein we are mandated to offer community access to certain activities (such as with meetings of the School Board). We are exploring all options to allow for technology-based solutions to those questions, and we will keep you informed as those details become available.
We are in contact with both local and regional health authorities and will continue to be so over the coming weeks. As their guidance changes, we will alter our plans and actions accordingly. Please be assured that our highest priority is the health and safety of our students and staff, and that we will take whatever actions are required to minimize the spread of coronavirus within our schools.
We will continue emphasizing the importance of handwashing at school. Our custodians will continue to prioritize high-touch surfaces in classrooms and common areas.
Students, families and everyone in our community can best support our efforts by washing hands frequently, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, and using hand sanitizer when hot water and soap are not available. Those experiencing symptoms of the cold or flu should stay at home, only returning to school or work when symptom-free for 24 hours. If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult with a doctor.
District messages about COVID-19 can be found on the district website, located at https://silverfallsschools.org.
The Oregon Health Authority has a resource page available here: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/.
We will continue to rely on the guidance from Oregon public health authorities, the Department of Education, and the Office of the Governor. We are working alongside many other districts around the state, and this message has been adapted from a similar one that has gone out to families across the state. We appreciate the efforts of educational partners and colleagues across the state facing difficult decisions at this time, and join with those others in asking for your patience and understanding as we all do our best to play our part in keeping our communities safe.