Cavaliers News · Update from Superintendent Matt Utterback


March 18, 2020 – sent to families at 3:00 PM

Dear NCSD Families:

Yesterday, North Clackamas Schools (NCSD) sent all families a brief note indicating Governor Brown extended the school closure through April 28, although this end date could change based on the progression of the virus. NCSD knows this situation is causing stress, anxiety, and hardship for many of our families. NCSD is actively working on a variety of fronts to help ease these concerns, and the purpose of this letter is to provide you with what we know about this extended closure and its implications. Additionally, this message will let you know about some important issues that we are actively working on but remain unknown today.

Q: What does the closure mean?

A: Simply stated, all student-focused activities occurring inside NCSD facilities will not take place during the extended closure. This currently includes programs like CARE, Ready Set Go, Early childhood special education, and all afterschool programs. As was mentioned previously, NCSD’s school-based health centers at Milwaukie High School and Rex Putnam High School remain operating.

Q: What does the closure mean for athletic practices, games, and other extra-curricular activities?

A: All athletic and extra-curricular activities are canceled through April 28. This includes all meetings, practices, plays, concerts, competitions, etc. Spring athletics are canceled through April 28; more information about this matter is forthcoming from the Oregon School Activities Association.

Q: What does this extended closure mean for students who are food insecure?

A: Meals are available for all district students who need them through April 28, Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 9:00 am at Clackamas High, Milwaukie High, Rex Putnam High, and Alder Creek Middle School. Breakfast and lunch are provided to students in a pre-made fashion at the same time. These sites will remain available through April 28, including spring break. NCSD anticipates making additional sites available in the coming days.

Q: Will food for the community continue being available?

A: Yes. Preboxed food packages continue being available at the Wichita Center until Friday, March 20 and then restarting again March 30 through April 28, weekdays only. Wichita Center is not open during spring break (March 23 – 27). Wichita Center’s hours are 10am – 4pm, Monday through Friday. Families accessing this service will be asked for the size of your family so staff can size the box appropriately.

Q: What does the extended closure mean for graduation dates for 2020?

A: At this time, NCSD does not know the exact implications of this extended closure on seniors slated for graduation this spring. The Oregon Department of Education is actively working on this matter, and additional details will be forthcoming. It is important to remember that all schools in the state and many across the country are in the same situation.

Q: What will this extended closure mean for student calendars for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year?

A: Right now, NCSD is unsure of the closure’s implications on the remaining school calendars; we will share more about this as we get guidance from the Oregon Department of Education.

Q: What are NCSD’s plans for providing instruction to students during the closure; why can’t you just provide online learning?

A: NCSD understands why many of you are asking about NCSD’s ability to do this. Providing remote learning options for all of our 17,300 students is extremely complicated and the Oregon Department of Education has stated that there are very strict requirements before a school district can provide direct instruction through online learning. Not all of our students have access to laptops or have access to wi-fi. Additionally, some classes require a hand-on experience, nor does online learning allow for effective personalized support for students with enhanced needs. NCSD knows there is a need for students to continue receiving some degree of instruction during this extended closure, and later this week, NCSD will place some options for supplemental learning on its website.

Q: What is happening to funds paid by families for school trips that were initially scheduled during the closure?

A: NCSD is aware this question is of great importance, particularly as many families feel their cash flow negatively impacted. NCSD administrators are currently looking at past deposits and how to manage this matter.

As has been the case throughout this COVID-19 situation, NCSD encourages everyone to follow Oregon Health Authority guidelines for reducing community spread, which includes avoiding large gatherings and maintaining frequent handwashing.

We know that this is a stressful time in the midst of unknowns. Please know that we are committed to providing you with the most up-to-date information and eagerly waiting to get back to a time where we can have our students and staff back in our schools.

Sincerely,

North Clackamas Schools


Matthew Utterback
Superintendent
North Clackamas School District
503-353-6001

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