Hello SSD Staff, Families, and Community Members,
Our regular, monthly meeting of the SSD Board of Directors is scheduled for tomorrow, January 13, 2021. The agenda for this meeting includes an update on work being done to plan for the reopening of schools. However, we know from the recent announcement by Governor Kate Brown that the Oregon Department of Education is expected to release new metrics and guidance for K-12 schools on Tuesday, January 19. This guidance will be key in determining a realistic and safe timeline for reopening our schools, starting at the elementary level.
We’ve heard your questions and concerns about reopening schools, and we know any update shared with the Board this week that cannot yet be linked to specific dates and timelines will be frustrating — to our Board members, to our staff, and to the families and members of our community who tune in to our live stream to receive that information. In order to ensure that the next update to our Board is informed by the new guidance and metrics, we are rescheduling tomorrow’s Board of Directors meeting and work session to Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Please note that our public comment form will remain open until that date, and all comments already submitted will still be read at the January 20 meeting. All scheduled agenda topics will remain the same; the revised agenda can be viewed here.
As your Superintendent, I have heard first-hand from so many of you, sharing your hopes, fears, and passionate points of view on this issue — both strongly in favor of a quick reopening, as well as against. I share in your frustration that this is a challenging issue — and that the time needed for our district to create intentional plans that both align with guidelines AND protect the safety of students and staff is still underway. My team and I will continue to work hard, will await the new metrics and any accompanying guidance, and look forward to meeting with the Board next week in hopes of taking the next steps in this process.
With sincere appreciation,
Dr. Heather Cordie