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Schools Closed for Rest of School Year
Bryan Starr
Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Dear Harrisburg District Families/Students/Community Members

With the health and safety of our students, staff, and communities as her primary focus, today Governor Brown and the Oregon Department of Education announced that our schools will be closed for the rest of the school year.  We know this announcement is likely to be a great disappointment for our students and means more disruptions and continued challenges for families.  We know that closing schools was a difficult decision, but this action is intended to keep us all as safe and healthy as we can be. 

For our seniors - the Class of 2020 – we know that is particularly heartbreaking for you.  It is a painful reminder that sometimes the world can throw challenges and disappointments at you at the worst possible time.  We are committed to finding creative ways to honor you and restore as much normalcy as we can.  At this time, we have not received direction from the state about graduation ceremonies or the opportunity for students to reschedule events like proms, but we will keep you updated as information becomes available. 

Today’s announcement also included important information for our high school seniors. The state’s Graduation Pathways 2020 maintains the 24 credit requirement while providing a clear path to graduation for seniors who were on-track to graduate prior to the statewide school closure. This guidance allows seniors to receive credit for any course in which they were passing at the time the school closure started.  As a result, schools can provide additional focus on securing credit-earning opportunities and learning for seniors who were not yet passing all required courses at the time of the school closure.  And for the final spring term(s), seniors shall be awarded credit based on a Pass/Incomplete (or withdrawal) determination.

 As we evaluate this guidance, we will communicate additional details directly from your school, and students who have finalized course completion for their diploma will receive individual guidance on post-graduation plans. In addition, seniors short on credit or who aren't passing their semester courses will be contacted for individual distance learning plans.  Our staff and teachers will reach out to seniors and provide you more comprehensive information.  Most importantly, we will do everything we can to ensure that no senior misses out on the opportunity to graduate. 

We will continue to honor distance learning for all of our students in grades K-8/9-11.  The principals and teachers will continue providing updates on our website and facebook pages.  Distance learning will not look like the school days we had only a handful of weeks ago.   If you weren't able to get a Chromebook for your student, you can check one out for free for the remainder of the emergency closure. Just contact the district office or main office of the building you are part of in the district. 

We will continue to provide free meals between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Thursday at the elementary cafeteria throughout the duration of the emergency closure.  We know this is unlike anything we as educators, parents or students have ever seen before. Since this emergency closure began, our priority has been and will continue to be our students.  I realize this has placed much stress on our parents to make sure their children are completing the learning opportunities and activities presented by the teachers.  And our educators and administrators are committed to being problem-solvers and partners for our high school seniors so their paths to graduation are not interrupted by this pandemic.

As the sun starts to shine more in the coming weeks we know students will want to head outside and play.  Please remember that our buildings, fields and playgrounds are closed, but we are still here to support you.  If you have questions, please contact the district office at 541-995-6626.

 Bryan Starr