▶️ COVID-19: Local parents have mixed reactions to mandated school closure

By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY

Students at Highland Elementary at Kenwood are pretty excited about a two week long Spring Break.

Their parents, not so much.

“Both my wife and I are doctors. She’s an emergency medicine doctor. I’m more flexible than she is so if anything happens and she gets called in for extra shifts I’ll be on child duty,” said Nathan Osborn.

Late Thursday night, Gov. Kate Brown ordered all the state’s K-12 schools to close until April 1st as a precaution against COVID-19.

In a teleconference Friday, Brown said sending kids home will not stop the spread of the virus but will give schools time to recover and develop plans for when they reopen April 1st.

“I said that considerations of school closures would be a last resort, however we are left with little choice due to school district staff capacity and operational concerns,” Brown said. 

The decision put many parents in an immediate pickle.

Others will be able to weather the storm until the kids go back to school.

“Fortunately my husband works at home and I work an early morning shift so we have it worked out really well that he can stay at home if need be,” said Elizabeth Kay. “We are pretty fortunate that way.”

The Oregon Department of Education will examine impacts of the closure on instructional time and identify school districts needs for opening in two weeks.

“This could include provisions for staffing shortages, supply shortages as well as provisions for social distancing measures and recurrent and routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces,” said Colt Gill, Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Education.

Some parents have a plan for what do with their school age children during the two week closure.

“They are going to study. If they think it’s going to be all video games and candy, they are wrong,” Osborn said. 

 

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