Central Point School District #6

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COVID-19 UPDATE:  OSAA will conduct 5A State Basketball Tournament without fans

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

The OSAA has restricted admittance to the 5A State Basketball Tournament in Corvallis, March 11-13, 2020 to players, coaches and school district administration.   Crater will not send band, cheerleaders or a rooter bus to the state tournament.  Parents should be advised that they will not be permitted into the venue for games.  Parents or fans who wish to watch the 5A tournament online can access it here (NFHS network; subscription fees may apply).   Crater Girls’ Basketball will play Silverton in a semi-final game at 1:30 pm on Thursday.  Crater Boys’ Basketball will play Silverton in a semi-final game at 8:15 pm.

The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education is expected to release new guidance for schools on Thursday, March 12.  We do not expect school closures, but we do anticipate changes in events, large group gatherings or other functions.  As soon as the guidance is released, District 6 will communicate any changes in schedules or events.  Thank you for your patience—the health of our students, staff and community is our primary concern.

COVID-19 Update–March 7, 2020

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

The Oregon Health Authority has reported 4 new presumptive cases of COVID-19 and two of those cases are in Jackson County.  The two cases in Jackson County are travel related, did not require hospitalization and are from the same household.   The Jackson County Health Department has advised that there is no recommendation to cancel school or community events and there is no known community spread at this time.

 Please note that the CDC has released some general guidance for people in high risk groups.

The Oregon Health Authority emphasizes that washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, practicing good sneeze and cough hygiene and staying home when ill remain the best defense.

The District 6 Pandemic Response Plan includes the steps the district and our schools are taking to protect students and staff.

The health and safety of our students, staff and community is our first priority.  District 6 will continue to monitor this situation closely and communicate any changes in protocols, events or school operations.

COVID-19 and Influenza Update

Monday, March 2nd, 2020


The impact of COVID-19 on Oregon and Oregon schools is changing rapidly; the best way to have the most current information about the situation in Oregon is to use the Oregon Health Authority website, which includes resources and statewide tracking data.  The Oregon Health Authority has also released information and resources for both families and schools.  The FAQ for families (including information about when your child should stay at home) and the FAQ for schools provides helpful information about COVID-19 and protection against  the spread of all viruses, including influenza.

The Oregon Health Authority and the CDC continue to advise the following basic steps for protection against the spread of COVID-19, influenza and other viruses:

  • Handwashing with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette (use a tissue or a sleeve)

The Central Point School District prioritizes health and safety for our students and staff.  The District leadership team has reviewed and updated the “D6 Pandemic Response Plan” to align with the most current recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority and the CDC.  The purpose of the “D6 Pandemic Response Plan” is to protect the health and safety of students and staff; provide for the continuity of education; and assure the continuity of essential district functions.

Key aspects of the D6 Pandemic Response Plan include:

  • Coordination with Jackson County Health Department, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education to determine closures, event cancelations or changes in operation.
  • Procedures to disseminate information to all stakeholders while protecting student and family confidentiality according to federal law.
  • Infection control procedures for all school sites aligned to the CDC guidelines including
    • Encouraging sick students and staff to stay home
    • Prioritize disinfecting “frequent touch surfaces”
    • Additional hand sanitizing equipment and product
    • Instruction on CDC recommendations for self-protection to ALL students
  • Plans for the continuity of education in the event of student and staff absences or closure
    • Temporarily discontinue “attendance letters” Please note that you may still receive communication from your child’s school about attendance and access to assignments and make-up work.
    • Provide access to education for students who are home
  • Provide for the continuity of essential district functions including Business Services, Human Resources, Technology, and Maintenance.

Please see the following resources for more information:

District 6 Pandemic Response Plan

District 6 Pandemic Response Plan_Spanish

FAQ for Families_Spanish

FAQ for Schools_Spanish

Oregon Health Authority

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

JHCC – Communicable Diseases – Students

JHCC AR – Communicable Diseases – Students

Information and resources related to COVID-19 and influenza

Saturday, February 29th, 2020

Oregon’s first presumptive case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) was reported last night and the first U.S. death related to COVID-19 was reported this morning.  Further, Jackson County continues to see cases of “influenza b” in both children and adults.  District 6 is working with local and state agencies including the Jackson County Health Department, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education to monitor and respond to threats to public health.

Some resources about COVID-19, including statewide tracking data are available on the Oregon Health Authority website.  Information about protecting yourself and your children against COVID-19 and influenza are available here and include these simple steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes nose and mouth.
  • Avoid contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you sneeze or cough.
  • Get an annual flu vaccine (still available) to protect against influenza.

For further information, please review the Oregon Health Authority “fact sheet” on COVID-19 in English and in Spanish.

New information about COVID-19, influenza and the District 6 response will be posted here as soon as it is available.  Links to this information will also be posted on D6 social media, including FaceBook and Instagram.

Kindergarten Launch

Friday, February 14th, 2020

Calling all 2020-2021 Kindergartners!  Please join us for Kindergarten Launch at your neighborhood school on the following dates/times. Kindergarten Launch is a time to learn about the kindergarten program, meet staff and teachers, tour classrooms and learn about “READY! for Kindergarten.”

Kindergarten Launch 2020

Kindergarten Launch 2020_Spanish

Press release regarding Crater threat

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

Central Point Police and District 6 issued the following joint press release this afternoon with an update on the threat at Crater:

The Central Point Police Department continued the investigation into social media posts that referenced a threat to Crater High School.  Police officers made direct contact with all parties involved and determined a threat had been made in a video gaming audio chat room. Officers were able to determine during the investigation that the threat was not credible.  Due to the alarm and impact to the community caused by the threat, the juvenile was lodged at the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Facility for Disorderly Conduct I.

The Central Point Police Department and the Central Point School District take every threat to our schools seriously.  The safety and security of every student and staff member in our schools is our primary concern and we work together to ensure safe school campuses.

We want to thank the students for sharing the troubling information with the Police and School rather than disregarding the information as not being credible.  It is important to educated students that false information shared over social media and among peers could be alarming to the community and may have legal consequences.  If anyone has information regarding school safety concerns, please immediately call the Central Point Police Department at 541-664-5578. Remember, if you “see something, say something”.

Any further media inquiries should be directed to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.

 

Radon Gas Testing

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

Radon Gas Testing in Schools

In our continued efforts to provide safe and healthy schools for our students and staff, Central Point School District No. 6  is testing for radon gas in schools.  A new state law requires that all districts in Oregon test schools for radon before January 1, 2021.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from deposits in the soil.  It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless and can work its way into buildings through cracks in the ground and openings in foundations or under structures. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among people who do not smoke. The threat of elevated radon levels in southern Oregon is considered low; however, testing is the only definitive way to determine actual radon levels. Testing is non-invasive and poses no danger to staff or students.  It consists of placing a small container (test kit) in all rooms that people typically occupy and leaving it there for several days.

Please click the following link for more information on radon gas and/or to view test results. https://www.district6.org/about/healthy-safe-schools-plan/radon/ 

Division 22 Assurances

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

As reported to the School Board on January 21, 2020, Central Point School District 6 is in compliance with all state standards set forth in OAR chapter 581, division 22.

Division 22 Report to Community

Inclement Weather FAQ: Everything you wanted to know about District 6 school closures and delays

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

How does the district decide whether or not to delay or close schools?  The primary consideration is safe student transportation to and from our schools.  Beginning at about 3:00 am on a poor weather day, transportation manager, Deena Engberg begins driving potentially hazardous routes in our district while I review forecasts and often speak directly to the National Weather Service.  Deena sends me pictures of road conditions and we discuss those conditions along with the forecast. I also communicate with area superintendents and we compare road condition reports.    If Deena is confident that our busses can safely transport students along regular routes, we all proceed with our regular routine.  Often, just using “snow routes” allows for safe transport and other times the forecast promises a break (or thaw) in the weather if we can delay busses for two hours.  Occasionally, the weather does not behave the way we expected and a “delay” becomes a “closure.”  This is what occurred this morning—temperatures did not rise as expected and the snowfall only increased.  The NWS adjusted its forecast just as we made the call to close schools.

Why do you decide at the last minute?  It would be really helpful to know the night before!  Yes, it would be.  I recognize how difficult last-minute schedule changes are for parents—many of whom are not allocated “snow days” and are faced with a sudden transportation or daycare issue.  The forecast can change quickly in the Rogue Valley.   Remember November 27, 2019?  It was the day prior to Thanksgiving, an early release day for students and the forecast was “snowpocolypse” combined with an expectation of widespread power outages.  By 2:00 pm on the 26th, we had enough snow in the Gold Hill and Sams Valley area to be very concerned about transporting kids home.  And, kids in Central Point were looking longingly at the snowflakes outside their classroom windows.  By 6:00 pm on the 26th, the wind increased significantly, we had no power at Sams Valley Elementary and as I was talking with the National Weather Service in Medford, they lost power.  Of all days, this seemed to be the time to make the call the night before and give parents a chance to plan.  I made the call and we posted it; I felt like a genius.  Until the next day, when the forecasted weather did not materialize and instead, a gentle breeze and partial sun mocked me.  While student safety is our first concern and notifying parents as soon as possible is also a consideration, we prioritize teaching and learning—we want to maximize the school days we have each year.

Why do you make the decision so early?  Often, the weather is fine by the time school starts.  Again, this is true (see above).  Because safe transportation (both bus transportation and consideration for student drivers and parents driving) is the determining factor, the decision has to be made by 6:00 am for the first busses to begin their routes.  When we are monitoring the weather and road conditions to determine whether or not a two-hour delay will become a closure, we have to decide before 8:00 am.  This morning was a very last-minute move from delay to closure (busses were called back) when the weather conditions worsened rather than improved.

Why don’t you close schools in Gold Hill and Sams Valley, but keep Central Point schools open?  Usually, the weather and roads are fine in town, but treacherous at higher elevations.  We have many students who live in out of town areas and higher elevations, but attend in-town schools (all high school students go to Crater).  We also have many students who live in Central Point, but attend out-of-town schools.  While I’m sure someone can provide me with an example, I can’t think of a weather related/road condition reason that would result in closing some of our schools and not others.  We’re all one district!

When I went to school, a little snow didn’t stop us.  And, if Alaskans were as soft as school officials in the Rogue Valley, they would NEVER have school!  This isn’t really a question, but a comment (or something similar)  that we get occasionally.  By occasionally, I mean multiple times for every closure or delay.  I will not argue that valley “school officials” are tougher than Alaskans.  However, in regions that consistently get snow accumulation, municipalities have the equipment necessary to manage the roadways and residents are accustomed to navigating treacherous roadways.

When you call a “2 hour delay,” what time will busses run?  A “2 hour delay” means that all school schedules and bus routes will begin two hours later than the regular schedule.  One caveat is Wednesdays (please, let there only be beautiful weather on a Wednesday).  Announcements for Wednesday weather delays will include more specifics about start times and release times, because it is very confusing.

What do “snow routes” mean?   When the conditions are sketchy in the higher elevations, but passable everywhere else, our busses sometimes run “snow routes.”  This means that some routes do pick-ups and drop offs at an alternate location that may be down the hill from the usual pick up and drop off points.   There is typically a link to snow route information in our posts and you can also find it here: snow routes

Why don’t all school districts in the region coordinate weather delays or closures, it is very confusing!  Another truth and it is confusing.  Area superintendents discuss weather delays and closures as a group, often with the National Weather Service.  Over the past few days, we’ve had a 5:00 pm meeting and a 5:00 am meeting each day.  Still, those meetings rarely result in valley wide decisions.  The primary factor is that each school district serves a number of “micro-climates” and the conditions, temperatures and snow accumulation can vary wildly.  Each superintendent ultimately makes a decision that is best for his or her district, based on the conditions in that particular district.

I didn’t find out about the closure until I was driving my student to school!  How does the district handle the communication?Once a decision to delay or close is made, I notify district and school administrators via group text.  Next, I send an email to all district staff with the information.  Within a few minutes after the email, we update the district and school FaceBook pages and the district website.  Meanwhile, a communication goes out to all media (television stations, radio and the newspaper).  This process takes less than 15 minutes.   I don’t believe this system is perfect and we are discussing options to get accurate and complete information out in additional ways (phone or email) and assure that the communication can happen quickly.

Why do you close schools and then have extra-curricular activities?  On days of school closure, we typically make a decision about extra-curricular activities later in the day.  The weather can change quickly and even the worst weather days sometimes transition to safe driving conditions by 3:00 pm.  Again, student safety is our first concern, but if we can assure safe transportation, our priority is providing the teaching, learning and activities that benefit our kids.

Who do I talk to for suggestions about how weather delays and closures are handled?  We strive to make the best possible decisions for D6 kids and communicate those decisions effectively.  However, there is always room for improvement and the best ideas have yet to be heard.  If you have a question, idea, complaint or suggestion, please let me know.  I can be reached via email at samantha.steele@district6.org, in my office at 541.494.6201 or via cell phone (or text) at 541.840.5644.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PM Snow Routes – Monday, January 14, 2020

Monday, January 13th, 2020
Due to inclement weather, snow routes are in effect except for Old Military Rd. Old Military Rd. will run regular routes. Snow routes can be found here.
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