Resources to Support Continuity of Services

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

To:         Oregon Superintendents and Principals, Charter School Leaders, Private
               School Leaders, Reopening Advisors, School Nurses
From:     Colt Gill, Director of the Oregon Department of Education
Date:      September 8, 2021
Re:         Resources to Support Continuity of Services

Dear Oregon School and District Leaders:

As we head into the 2021-22 school year, our priority is to implement the protocols needed to reliably and safely hold school in-person, every school day, for all students, all year long. At the same time, it is important to be as prepared as possible for future disruptions to in-person learning, whether from disease, wildfires, ice storms or other circumstances which may affect a classroom, a portion of a school, an entire school building, or a district. Maintaining continuity of services for students and families is critical to our success this school year. 

Decisions about when or how to operate school are in the hands of district leaders, charter school leaders and private school leaders. These decisions are significant and complex and have impact on students, families, staff and community members immediately, and in the long term. The importance and weight of these decisions cannot be underemphasized; ODE stands with school partners to support the decision making process and implementation of these decisions. 

In recognition of the importance and complexity of local decision-making and towards the goal of service to students and families, ODE has created a set of resources to support schools and districts to maintain continuity of services for students and families. 

These resources include:

  • Oregon Data for Decision Dashboard: A new “Data Dashboard to Support COVID-19 Response and Resiliency” serves as a tool to provide up-to-date data and information in the form of a user-friendly dashboard. ODE worked with data presentation professionals at Willamette Education Service District to design, host and maintain this data dashboard. The dashboard includes regional and district level data on COVID-19, student mental health and well-being, local demographic information and more so that districts can make informed decisions based in critical and current information. There is robust information available and the index will continue to grow over the coming weeks and months.
  • Oregon Data for Decisions: A Guide for District Considerations for the 2021-22 School Year: This ‘’Oregon Data for Decisions Guide'' offers a resource for school leaders to use to inform decision-making at the local level. The guide suggests data points and equity considerations for communities to consider along with a clear format for conducting a comprehensive review of information and data. This guide does not provide metrics, rather it helps districts consider multiple measures to make decisions to introduce additional safety protocols, temporarily move to distance learning, or maintain current practices. 
  • Planning Guide for Short-Term Distance Learning: This guide is intended to support schools and districts in preparing for sustained learning regardless of circumstances (e.g., floods, wildfires, earthquakes, building damage, inclement weather, or public health events). When in-person instruction is not possible, short-term distance learning can mitigate the impact on student learning.
  • Care & Connection: As school operations move and shift, Care & Connection digital resources intend to support schools to transition in-person Care & Connection activities and culture into the digital learning space. The goal is to create and maintain safe and invitational spaces that allow each person to be where they are at any given moment, and to offer creative opportunities for them to explore their experiences. Many districts, schools and staff already have many activities in place to build care and connection. We invite you to create exercises and events that fit your school/school district’s schedule each day to build cultures of care, connection, and community. 
  • Oregon Child Nutrition Programs: This page contains information to support school nutrition programs to navigate short-term disruptions to in-person services. 
  • Transportation Supports: This page remains the best resource for navigating and leveraging transportation to support continuity of learning and services in the event of school closures.  
  • School District Contracting Opportunities; Verizon Distance Learning Website: These webpages connect schools and districts with information about how to access contracts and assistance for technology and internet service to support continuity of education and services should in-person learning be paused for a period of time.  
  • Telemental Health (forthcoming): ODE is updating its FAQ in response to questions from school districts and community mental health providers related to the delivery of mental and behavioral health services and supports via telehealth.

We are grateful for your steadfast partnership as we work to provide the best learning experience and environment for Oregon students now, and into the future. Please send any questions to