The governor has tasked local school districts with providing supplemental learning, childcare for healthcare providers and first responders and food service during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Providing these services was the primary topic of conversation Wednesday during a Roseburg Public Schools board of directors meeting held via Zoom teleconferencing.
Michelle Knee, director of teaching and learning for the school district, told board members that starting next week teachers will be connecting with families weekly and providing educational activities students can work on at home.
“They’re anxious to connect with their kiddos,” she said.
These won’t be regular lessons.
“They’re intended to be supplemental and provide students the opportunity to stay engaged,” Knee said.
Teachers will also be figuring out which families need help with access to technology including computers and internet services, she said.
The district will also be providing a bus meal service, beginning Monday morning, said Superintendent Jared Cordon.
The schools are providing 4,000 lunches and 4,000 breakfasts each day.
At the schools, where many children have been showing up to collect those meals, signs went up Wednesday stating that the playgrounds are closed. The school district is following direction of the Department of Education, but Cordon said he has mixed feelings about it.
“I understand why we have to do it, but again our schools have been a haven for many people,” he said.
Child care services will start April 1, and be provided at four of the schools. Those are Winchester, Sunnyslope, Hucrest and Eastwood Elementary Schools. Knee said she anticipates it will be mostly the children of health care workers who are served.
Private child care facilities have been all but shut down. They, too, are only authorized to provide care for healthcare workers and emergency responders, Knee said.
One reason just four schools are hosting the child care is that there has been some suggestion from the governor’s office that schools may be asked to provide shelter to the homeless.
Board chairman Joe Garcia voiced concern that might promote spreading the virus.
“If we’re trying to reduce the amount of people who are congregating together, it seems like putting a bunch of people in a gymnasium together wouldn’t really make a lot of sense,” he said.
Cordon also reported the district hopes to learn soon from the Department of Education and the governor’s office what amended graduation requirements might be for seniors.