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Due to the anticipated move of Washington County to a “Red” status on the state’s Covid-19 map, local health officer Dr. Jeff Morgan ordered yesterday the move of all students to online learning beginning today. 

There has been much back and forth since August with in-person education and moves to a mix of virtual and in-person when there are cases of Covid-19 reported. 

The latest moves by Morgan sent all middle and high school students home before Thanksgiving while allowing elementary students to continue to attend in-person. 

Students had returned to school on November 30 in Washington County in a hybrid mix of in-person and virtual learning, but will completely stay at home beginning today. 

“We were hoping to finish the semester with in-person and hybrid learning,” said Salem Schools Superintendent Jon Acton.

“Unfortunately the rising Covid numbers have moved us to Remote Learning for the fourth time this school year.  These are not the circumstances we hoped to work within, but we will continue to educate our children, provide emotional support, and do our best regardless of circumstances.”

Action said the school will announce food pick up and delivery plans by Friday for the next two weeks.  

East Washington Schools has a link for parents to fill out for meals to be delivered by school buses over the next couple of weeks. 

East Washington Superintendent Dennis Stockdale said the school will still be offering meals for pick up tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday of this week from 9:45-11:00 each day.
 
Elementary students will need to pick up at the elementary and middle and high school students at the high school cafeteria.
 
He said beginning Monday, December 7, the school will begin its home meal delivery service during the weeks of December 7-11 and 14-18.
 
“We will come out soon with times of delivery. You will still be able to pick up at the school should that work better for you. Again, more information will be coming, soon on next week’s service,” he said.
 
This service will be provided only to our East Washington Families, Stockdale said.
 
“Any student residing in an East Washington household 18 and younger may ask for meals,” he said.
 
Parents are asked to fill out this form by Friday. https://forms.gle/oZs814cpUJMcJCqL9
 
West Washington Schools Superintendent Keith Nance said county health officials and school administrators got together at the beginning of November to discuss the growing number of Covid-19 cases. 
 
“We all agreed that it would take our entire community to impact the direction in which we are headed,” Nance wrote in an announcement sent to WSLM. 
 
“The above is true today. Except now, we are fighting to reopen and stay open,” he wrote. “A wise person once told me, “If you are in a hole, stop digging.” We need to collectively do all we can to stop the spread of Covid. It is a time that we not only do what is necessary at school but outside of school as well. Please consider your role in making the necessary changes to improve our current situation.”
 
Nance said the virtual schedule would begin today and assignments would be posted on the school’s google classroom account. 
 
“With limited preparation time for teachers, please understand that Wednesday may look different than the days ahead,” he noted. 
 
Nance released plans for long term closure for the students and staff. 
 
All staff is expected to report to work at normal times unless otherwise notified. 
 
Nance said he would communicate schedules of coverage, approval to work at home, which such requests should be written to him. 
 
He noted that all teachers will be expected to have video lessons of direct instruction posted each day by 9a along with all assignments. 
 
Teachers are also supposed to check that all assignments have been completed by 9p each day. 
 
Attendance will be taken each day and small Google meetings would be held to check in with small groups of students during normally scheduled classes. 
 
West Washington teachers do not have to answer emails or hangout calls after 3p but must return those emails and calls between 8a-3p the next day. 
 
Nance said teachers may not be able to immediately answer a question from a student but will get back in touch with that student or parent when they are available. 
 
There has been no news of a meal plan for West Washington students.