Dear Salem-Keizer Families,
With the preservation of public health as the guiding light, today Governor Brown and the Oregon Department of Education announced that our school doors will not open again for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Like you, we are hurting, but we know this latest guidance comes as another measure to keep us as safe and healthy as we can be.
For the Class of 2020 – we see you. There is no world in which this is fair. We will not give up on finding creative ways to honor you and restore every amount of normalcy that we can. At this time, no decisions have been made about graduation ceremonies or the opportunity for students to reschedule events like proms as we are awaiting further direction regarding social distancing requirements. As soon as we know, we will share that as we know you are anxious for information on the year-end traditions and celebrations.
With this announcement comes important guidance for high school students, particularly our nearly 3,000 high school seniors. There is no change to the number of credits required to graduate. We now consider March 13th as the final day of coursework just for students in the class of 2020, and we will issue a .5 credit as “Pass,” or “Incomplete” for the work completed to this date. This guidance applies to students set to graduate in June of 2020. For those seniors who don’t have enough credits as of March 13, we will create individualized distance learning schedules to help you earn credits through the end of the school year to stay on track with the Class of 2020. In addition, Essential Skills and Personalized Learning Requirements are suspended.
This guidance issued by ODE aligns with the SKPS Distance Learning Plan in that the district will be moving to a pass, incomplete system in grades 9-12 for the remainder of the closure period.
As we evaluate this guidance, we will communicate additional details directly from your school, and high school seniors will receive individual guidance on next steps.
We will continue to honor distance learning for all of our students in grades K-8, and we will follow a plan to report on progress toward focused standards for Distance Learning. Distance learning begins on Monday, April 13, but please know we do not expect it to look like the school days we had only a handful of weeks ago.
To view the full guidance from the state, please click here.
If you weren’t able to get a Chromebook for your student, you can rent one for free for the remainder of the emergency closure. Just come to any one of our high schools between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. this Friday, April 10.
We will continue to provide free meals between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at all of our 35 sites throughout the duration of the emergency closure, and on Monday, we’ll open Eyre Elementary as an additional location, as well.
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 high school students. Our educators and administrators are committed to being problem-solvers and partners for our high schoolers so their paths to graduation are not interrupted by this pandemic. We’re grateful to our partners in neighboring districts, at the state and in higher education for taking extraordinary measures to help us provide individualized and unique learning opportunities.
We urge you – please err on the side of caution. Stay home. Stay healthy. Our buildings, fields and playgrounds may be closed, but we are still here to support you. We can’t wait to see all of you again.