Rogue River School District

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RRSD School Board Correspondence

Superintendent Message

  • April 08, 2021 UPDATE

    Dear Community:

    Over spring break, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) notified us that they would be following the new guidance from the CDC which allows for 3 feet of social distancing in schools under certain circumstances.  This change did not remove the 140 + safety requirements we still must follow when having students onsite during this pandemic.  District leadership has met and scrutinized the new guidance, our schedules, our staffing, and our available room space.  We have decided we will stay with our current schedule through the end of the year.

    There are many reasons we landed on this decision.  Food service, transportation, and staffing needs were significant barriers we would have to overcome to expand to a full day model this spring.  Most important to our decision to stay in our current instructional model was the significant shift in staffing this would require on short notice.  Because we must still offer Distance Learning for all students who want it, we have had to assign multiple teaching and support staff to meet this need.  Bringing students back for full days while still providing Distance Learning would require hiring 3-6 new teachers and several more instructional assistants.    

    Hiring these new employees would take 3-6 weeks to finalize.  It would require many elementary students to be moved to new teachers in early May when the hiring process was complete and the transition could be made.  We feel maintaining the relationships and learning partnerships our learners have with their current teachers would be more valuable than the instructional time gained for the last few weeks of the school year if we did follow through with this hiring and expansion process. 

    We have budgeted for and will make these staffing expansions next fall so that we can be in person all day every day assuming the guidance from ODE and OHA allows us to do so.  In the meantime, we are preparing a robust summer program that will address learning loss from the pandemic.  We are also planning supports and programs that will extend out for two years to continue to try and make up academic learning that some of our students missed out on during the pandemic.

    While some of you may be disappointed in hearing this news, we assure you that we labored over this decision and did what we thought was best for the students in our district.  Our team was unanimous in its support of this decision. With all the changes and disruption that would be needed to make a switch to full time this spring, we believe the impacts and challenges to our students would outweigh the benefits they would gain over the final month of the school year.  Our students have been able to connect with classmates and teachers every school day since mid-February.  We feel the students can benefit from consistency in this difficult and inconsistent year, and that is what we can give them by staying with the current schedule and focusing our planning efforts on bringing them back full time in the fall.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick Lee
    Superintendent

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    February 26, 2021 UPDATE

    To: Rogue River School District School Community
    Re: All Students Belong in the Rogue River School District

    This year, amidst a series of crises, the health and well-being of our staff, students, and communities has been our highest priority. We know that Oregon’s youth and their families rely on their schools to take care of students and keep them safe, and depend on school communities to be welcoming and inclusive. We are deeply grateful for all that you do to support this school community during difficult times. Once again, we are calling on your partnership, leadership, and spirit of community to make sure that all students and staff feel as though they belong in our schools.

    Our district recognizes that student health and safety are the cornerstone of education and that all students are entitled to educational environments that are free from discrimination or harassment based on perceived race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin, and without fear or hatred, racism or violence. All staff and leaders are also entitled to workplaces that are free from discrimination and harassment, and visitors should be able to participate in their school communities without fearing for their well-being.

    Unfortunately, an increasing number of students in Oregon are reporting concerns for their safety and their ability to access their education. This prompted Governor Brown to instruct the Oregon School Board of Education to adopt the All Students Belong rule, which prohibits the display of three of the most recognizable symbols of hate—the swastika, the Confederate flag, and the noose at all school events and activities including online and distance learning. It will require districts to adopt and implement policies and procedures for addressing all in-person and remote (distance learning) school events and activities where these symbols are present.

    No student is immune from being a target of harmful acts or exclusion, and no member of our school community should ever be in fear of physical, mental, or emotional injury. When one person is harmed, it affects us all. As adults, we are responsible for making sure that our children are safe, and that they receive the education that they are entitled to. 

    To keep all members of our school community safe, the Rogue River School District has developed and implemented policies and procedures for addressing incidents where these hate symbols are present at in-person or remote school events and activities. These responses will not focus on disciplinary strategies like suspensions, expulsions, or similar punitive measures. Instead, we will work to educate our communities and those displaying hateful symbols about the impact of their actions with non-punitive remedial measures unless there is a risk to health or safety. The Oregon Department of Education is providing us with guidance, resources, and educational materials that will help us to implement policies consistently, fairly and effectively.

    Ultimately, it will take all of us to transform the conditions that lead to hate entering into schools. This policy isn’t just about the impacts on students being harmed by hate symbols—it is about creating a safe learning environment for all students and staff; one that allows for exploration, and open, respectful, conversation.

    Through our unity and your vocal support, we can ensure that schools are a place where we learn and engage in meaningful dialogue to more deeply understand and respect differences between people, where all students benefit from a safe and healthy environment, and where all can be free to receive their education without fear of hatred, racism, or violence.

    If you have feedback for the Oregon Department of Education regarding the All Students Belong rules, please direct your questions and comments to AllStudentsBelong@state.or.us.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick Lee
    Superintendent
    Rogue River School District #35

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    January 26, 2021 UPDATE

    Dear Students, Staff, and Community:

    Last night the Rogue River School Board unanimously voted to approve reopening plans for K-12 students that will begin to phase in on February 16, 2021.  The District is excited to have more students return to our hallways.

    The majority of details on what these plans will look like will be conveyed by building principals.  You should receive those communications from the principals before the end of this week. 

    The next two weeks will be a flurry of detail work at all levels as we prepare for more students and shift our educational model.  Here is some important information you should know as you prepare for this shift:

    • Students will only be on campus for half of the day. We must still follow the Ready Schools Safe Learners Guidance (RSSL) released by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and The Oregon Health Authority (OHA).  There is no way to follow this guidance and have all of our students on campus all day, every day.  Your school will let you know when your student will be on campus.
    • Students must wear a mask while in the schools unless they have a medical exemption signed by a doctor. Please check with your school about getting a medical exemption from your doctor if it is needed. 
    • Students need to socially distance to the greatest extent possible. Staff will assist students with this and offer reminders and training at all grade levels. 
    • Students establishing a pattern of being unwilling to socially distance or properly wear masks will be returned to Distance Learning. We will educate all children, but we must keep our schools as safe as possible and follow the RSSL guidance.  Students unwilling to follow masking and social distancing rules will be educated via Comprehensive Distance Learning.
    • Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) will still exist for those who don’t want to send their children to onsite learning. Your school will communicate with you more about how to access this option.
    • We will do our best to limit any introduction or transmission of COVID-19 in our buildings, but we will need your help!! Please screen your children daily.  Do not let them come to school if they have fever, chills, cough, loss of taste or smell, or any other primary symptom of COVID -19.  Please do not let them come to school if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 until the proper quarantine period has passed.  Remind them of the importance of hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing.
    • Despite our best efforts, COVID-19 may still enter our doors at some point: If a student or staff member is positive for COVID-19, we will likely have to quarantine cohorts and even consider shutting down a building and temporarily shifting back to Comprehensive Distance Learning if we have an outbreak.  Please be prepared for that possibility.

    It will take all students, staff, and families working together to make this reopening a success.  Please look for more details from each school in the near future.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick Lee
    Superintendent
    Rogue River School District #35

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    January 21, 2021 UPDATE

    Dear Community:

    To continue to keep you as informed as possible, the following is an update on where the Rogue River School District is at regarding our re-opening plans:

    At the regular board meeting on January 19, 2021 the RRSD School Board heard presentations from our school principals regarding plans to re-open to all students. To ensure that they are making the best possible decision for our students and staff, the board has scheduled a special board meeting for January 25, 2021 to gather more information and hear more details about these plans. At that meeting the Board expects to decide when and how the Rogue River School District will expand onsite services to students.

    Once that decision is made, the RRSD will work to inform you of all relevant changes as soon as possible. Communications of this sort can take time to coordinate and prepare, so we may need a day or two to get this out to you. Once the District has shared the overview of our plans, school principals will communicate with families to share details relevant to the students attending their schools.

    Please be on the lookout for more communication by the middle of next week.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick Lee
    Superintendent
    Rogue River School District #35

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    January 11, 2021 - Update

    Dear Community:

    This is a brief update on where the Rogue River School District stands in regards to expanding our onsite learning with students.

    When Governor Brown announced on December 23, 2020 that the decision making for school reopening would now be put in the hands of local school districts, she also cautioned that districts should consider waiting until after January 19, 2021 to make any changes.  The reason the Governor cautioned schools on making any firm plans before January 19, 2021 is because she expects to release updated rules for safely operating schools on that day.

    Shortly after her announcement, the Oregon School Boards Association gave superintendents legal guidance stating that schools opening while still in the red zone according to the current metrics, would not have liability coverage.  Having that liability protection is crucial to protecting school districts from potential lawsuits.  All schools in Jackson County are currently in the red zone.

    In Rogue River, we are carefully planning to expand our offerings of onsite learning in some form to our students beginning February 1, 2021.  The new rules released on January 19, will play a major role in deciding what our expanded onsite instruction looks like on February 1. 

    Because of the uncertainties about how the guidance might change on January 19, 2021, and because of our uncertainty about having liability coverage, we are not announcing our reopening plans until we are more confident that we can actually follow through with them. 

    We are optimistic we will be able to bring more students back on campus in February.  We expect to give some form of update with more details on the status of our reopening plans on or around January 22, 2021. 

    Thank you,

    Patrick Lee
    Superintendent

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    Hands Dear Community,

    There is much distress, discussion, and debate around the topic of racism in our country today.  Current events are shining a bright light across our nation, exposing a problem that continues to exist.  Because of the importance of this topic in our current time, I feel it important to affirm to our community that The Rogue River School District stands against racism of any kind. 

    The Rogue River School District is committed to loving and respecting each and every student that walks through its doors, regardless of the color of their skin or any other perceived label,  descriptor, or identifier that may apply. We state this so that our students and our community will have no doubt as to our stance.

    Respectfully,

    Patrick Lee
    Superintendent
    Rogue River School District

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    Teacher Appreciation Week  

    TEACHER APPRECIATION

    In the smoothest of times, teachers display their professionalism and commitment in a myriad of ways.  They work hard, inspire, challenge, and go above and beyond to help our students. These are anything but the smoothest of times.  In these times of challenge and opportunity, great teachers do all of the above and go even further with their efforts to be flexible, committed, and relentless in their desire to help our student body.  From what I have heard, the teachers of the RRSD are doing a tremendous job.

    Thank you for having the intelligence, commitment, and flexibility to learn in just a few days how to change the way you teach.  I hope your students and families appreciate you as much as I do for all that you have done to try and make this transition an opportunity to show just how committed you are to building relationships and connections with our students. 

    Thank you for all you do!
    Teachers are heroes!

    Patrick Lee
    Superintendent
    Rogue River School District

     

     

  • 2020-2021 DISTRICT GOALS

    • Student Character & Well Being
    • Outstanding Environment
    • Foster Communication
    • Pride and Image 

    MISSION STATEMENT

       “Rogue River School District will offer a high quality instructional program to
        help students acquire necessary academic and life skills to succeed in a
        complex competitive world, while also learning the importance of respect,
        accountability, and responsibility"

     VISION STATEMENT

       “Rogue River School District will offer an exciting interactive and safe learning
         environment where students can excel to the best of their ability, and become
         respectful, responsible, and productive citizens.”    

  • NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION

    The Rogue River School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

    Dr. April Harrison, Director of Special Programs/Title IX Coordinator
    518 Main Street, Suite B, Rogue River, OR 97537

    april.harrison@rogueriver.k12.or.us
    541-582-6003

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