School Closures and Legislative Days Update

You can read our previous newsletters here.

View in Browser
Education Committee Hearing

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Legislative Days have kept me very busy this week, but it's been great to see colleagues (even if only virtually) and lay the groundwork for a successful Short Session.  I chaired the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education yesterday, chaired the Joint Committee on Transportation today, and also attended the House Interim Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, and Water, and the Joint Ways and Means Committee.  Click on the committee names to be taken to a recording of each hearing. 

Rep. McLain

The Special Session starts on February 1st and all Committee hearings will be held virtually again this year, with Members attending in-person for Floor Sessions only.   Public testimony will be accepted by phone or by TEAMS participation and I will provide more information on how you can participate virtually as we get closer to the Session.  Tomorrow, I will be submitting my top priority bill for the Session to the Chief Clerk's Office.  I'll get into more detail in a future newsletter, but generally the bill improves the process by which the Newborn Bloodspot Screening Lab evaluates particular genetic diseases to test newborns for at birth.  The goal is to ensure that Oregon is keeping up with the science and that we are testing for as many genetic diseases as possible to ensure early intervention and treatment.


I had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful day at the beach with family on Sunday.  I couldn't believe my luck in terms of weather (almost 60 degrees!) and it was a refreshing way to head into this busy week.

Rep. McLain at the Oregon Coast


SAVE THE DATE: Virtual Town Hall!


Register for my next Town Hall on January 20th at 6pm.  Interpretation services available


virtual town hall, january 20th, 6pm to 7:30pm, register at the following link:


School District Updates


Students wearing masks


I hope you and your family are staying healthy as the school year starts. With the spread of the Omicron variant, it is important to keep up with health and safety issues in our schools so please take some time to read the letters regarding instruction from both the Forest Grove and Hillsboro School Districts below. 


Forest Grove School District

Forest Grove School District Pauses In-person Instruction for High School and Middle School:

Dear FGSD Families, 

Monday’s announcement to pause in-person instruction at the high school was due to the limited number of teachers available to cover classroom instruction. Unfortunately, we are experiencing similar staffing issues due to illness at the middle school. We have worked to cover absences with substitutes, internal staff and district office staff, but have again reached the point where we can no longer safely conduct classes with the current available staff. 

At NAMS today we had 14 out of our 52 licensed staff (27%) absent and 27.5% of our students absent. With the high school already in online learning, we have moved unassigned high school staff to assist at NAMS. However, nine teaching openings at NAMS remain unfilled today. Balancing these unfilled positions with the 15 unfilled positions across the rest of the district has also contributed to this decision. At the District Office we have 11 other teachers and administrators that are being assigned every day to cover these positions, but that still leaves us 13 positions unfilled.  

As a result, we have made the difficult decision to pause our in-person attendance at NAMS due to the number of teacher illness related absences and the inability to safely cover classroom instruction. The schedule going forward will be as follows:

  • In-person instruction to pause from January 13 through January 21
  • No school January 13 (teacher transition)
  • Asynchronous instruction – through Canvas – January 14
  • Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on January 17
  • Synchronous instruction – through Canvas and Zoom – begins January 18
  • January 18 through January 21 synchronous instruction – through Canvas and Zoom
  • Reconvene instruction on January 24

Look for details coming from your school and teachers for more information. Our hope is this will allow our staff to recover from their illnesses and reconvene in-person instruction on January 24. 

Students can pick up cold lunch during their regularly scheduled lunch times at any of the following schools: FGHS, Harvey Clarke, Echo Shaw or NAMS. Please knock on the exterior door closest to the cafeteria.  

Now that both the high school and middle school are in digital learning, the additional unassigned staff helping at NAMS can now be shifted to the elementary schools. With this additional help, we believe we can keep elementary students in classrooms. We will evaluate the status of each school daily and if staff absences dictate, we will notify you if it becomes necessary to close additional schools. The current estimates are that this surge will peak before the end of January. It is our highest priority to operate our schools in person, but we must have the appropriate number of staff available to operate our schools safely. We do not anticipate having to make up instructional hours at this time as the district accounts for possible interruptions in the instructional hour calendar (e.g. snow days). 

We are frustrated that we now have to make another difficult decision to pause in-person instruction at the middle school. We view the trauma of the year and a half of students out of school as being extremely impactful socially, emotionally and academically. It remains our top priority to get students safely back into classrooms as soon as we have sufficient staff ready to return to in-person instruction. 

To reiterate, our decision to pause in-person instruction is because we do not have sufficient staff to safely run classes at NAMS at this time. We hope that this pause will allow our teachers the time to recover so we can reconvene school as soon as possible. 



Dave Parker



Hillsboro school district logo

Hillsboro School District Health Update:

COVID-19 Case Communications
In order to maximize our ability to effectively utilize limited staff resources, we will no longer be providing heads-up letters for positive COVID-19 cases; however, we will continue contact tracing cases that arise in the school setting and will continue alerting staff and students who are potential close contacts.

There is currently active transmission of COVID-19 – particularly the highly transmissible Omicron variant – in our community. We believe our schools provide a much safer environment than other public spaces because of our layered mitigation strategies and controlled populations; however, there are no situations where there is absolutely no risk of transmission. We ask for your support in daily monitoring of your child for symptoms of illness and following all health and safety protocols like proper masking (over the nose and mouth), frequent hand washing/sanitizing, maintaining appropriate physical distance, etc. We also urge you to consider getting yourself and your eligible children vaccinated and boosted (if applicable).

High School Sports and Activities
Our goal is to keep extracurricular activities operating as normal for our students, and one way we can affect that during this time of record-high cases of COVID-19 is limiting the number of spectators at events. 

Therefore, effective immediately, the following adjustments will be in place for Wrestling and Basketball games taking place in HSD facilities:

  • Home and away athletes (including Cheer and Dance, if scheduled to perform at home events) will be allotted four (4) spectator tickets. Those four people will sit together at the event. Visiting spectators must be the immediate family of the athlete. No additional spectators will be allowed entry at this time. 
  • Spectators are asked to space throughout the bleachers to maintain appropriate physical distance from those outside of their household. 
  • Spectators will not be charged admission. 
  • For now, there will be no band or student seating section at sporting events.
  • All participants, coaches, and spectators must comply with proper mask use (over the nose and mouth at all times) while inside our facilities (except players or officials during active competition). 
  • When competing, masks are not required. All other teammates, students, and family members are required to wear masks.
  • Concessions will not be sold; food and drinks may not be consumed during events (except water for athletes). 
  • JV and Freshman athletes are encouraged to leave the gym after their games are completed unless they are participating with varsity.

These adjustments are temporary - we will reevaluate all protocols in early February. 

Please note that all contests taking place in our high school main gyms can be viewed FREE via live stream on the NFHS Network. Type the school name into the search bar and select the event from there. 

All Hands On Deck
To help manage the staffing and substitute shortages we are experiencing in our schools, HSD is deploying all available district staff to buildings to assist on a daily basis. We are doing everything we can to keep all schools open every day. In the event that is not possible at a particular school, we may need to revert that school to online learning for a short period of time. Please know that this move would not apply to the entire district and would only be implemented as a last resort and on an as-needed basis. There are no defined thresholds for making this decision; however, two of the main criteria are the number of staff available to serve students and the number of active COVID-19 cases in a particular school. 

Updated CDC Guidelines for Isolation and Quarantine
On Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, the CDC updated its isolation and quarantine guidelines for K-12 schools. While they had previously (on Dec. 29, 2021) indicated that isolation and quarantine would remain at 10 days in the school setting, they have now aligned their guidance with previously announced metrics for the general population. 

The CDC’s announcement was followed by a press conference held earlier today by the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education in which they acknowledged the revised guidelines and the reality of challenges currently facing districts across the state. 

We are awaiting confirmation from OHA, ODE, and Washington County Public Health that this is the direction they are advising schools to go and, if so, will implement the new guidelines at a date to be announced as soon as possible. Anyone who is impacted by COVID-19 will receive instructions from HSD’s Contact Tracing Team or from the District Nurse serving their school. 

Any student or staff member currently out on quarantine or isolation must complete their original quarantine/isolation period. 

We will continue to update you as more information becomes available. 

Hillsboro School District




COVID-19 weekly cases surge; hospitalizations, deaths increase

OHA’s COVID-19 Weekly Report released today showed a record-smashing total of daily cases, surging hospitalizations, a sharp rise in deaths and a staggering percent positivity. 

OHA reported 47,272 new cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, Jan 3, through Sunday, Jan. 9 – six times higher than two weeks ago and three times higher than the previous pandemic record for weekly cases. 

There were 486 new COVID-19-related hospitalizations, compared to 290 last week – a 68% increase. There were 113 reported COVID-19-related deaths, up from 89 last week. 

Reported test results jumped by 89% from 136,474 to 258,574. This represents a new pandemic high. The percentage of positive tests increased from 15.7% to 21%.


Arrows indicate cases and hospitalizations have increased. Delta and Omicron variants are circulating. Click on image to open Tableau.



Help save a life: Oregon needs your help replenishing its blood supply

The American Red Cross is declaring a “national blood crisis,” as the United States faces its worst blood shortage in more than a decade. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Red Cross says the number of blood donors has dropped roughly 10%. Blood donations are critical to help prevent delays in vital medical treatments. Those with all blood types – especially type O − are urged to make an appointment as soon as possible. Read on for details.



Infographic tells people to only go to the emergency department for emergency treatment.


New Website helps people who test positive for COVID-19

As the Omicron variant begins to drive case counts higher in Oregon, many more people need guidance and resources to ensure they and those around them stay safe. 

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has launched a new website that includes what to do if you test positive, if you have been exposed, and how to seek resources if you’re isolating at home and need support. Read on for more.  

Infographic shows phone number to call if you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are looking for resources. To reach the hotline call 866-917-8881.


Understanding breakthrough cases

Breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are on the rise, according to the latest OHA Breakthrough Report released today. A breakthrough case is when a person becomes infected after having been vaccinated. This happens because the immunity provided by the initial vaccine series wanes over time. The best way to rebuild immunity is to get a booster. Read on to learn more about breakthrough COVID-19 infections and booster shots.


Oregon Attorney General issues warning for suspicious COVID-19 testing sites

Image with yellow background says, “Scam alert” in black text, to warn Oregonians about suspicious COVID testing sites.

With the growth of the highly contagious Omicron variant, plus the rising demand for COVID-19 tests throughout Oregon, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is reminding everybody to be on the lookout for testing sites that seem suspicious, or vendors that are selling at-home tests for sky-high prices. 

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) asks Oregonians to report any dubious testing sites or vendors either online, or by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392. Read on for further details





CDC approves new guidelines for Moderna booster

Effective immediately, adults who received the Moderna vaccine as part of their primary series only have to wait five months before getting a booster. Check out the CDC’s website for detailed booster information. 

Infographic says people can now get a Moderna booster five months after finishing their primary series.


Oregon authorizes new guidelines for Pfizer vaccine and boosters

Effective today, children 12 and older can get a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine five months after their second dose. Also, for anybody who received Pfizer as their initial vaccine, the wait time for getting boosted is now only five months. Finally, immunocompromised children age 5 and older are authorized for a third primary dose of the Pfizer vaccine.  Read on for details.


Boosters work fast

The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your community against COVID-19 is to get boosted. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it takes two weeks after the initial vaccine series for your body’s immune system to develop antibodies that fight off the virus. But when you get boosted, the benefits begin within two to three days. Additionally, the CDC says you are considered “up-to-date” on vaccinations only after receiving a booster shot. If you’ve only received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna, you are still considered “fully vaccinated.”

infographic explaining how fast a booster shot is effective



New high-volume vaccination clinic in Washington County:

High-volume vaccination sites throughout the state offer a free, convenient way to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. All three COVID-19 vaccines, boosters and pediatric doses are offered at these sites, and no insurance or appointments are required.  

Tomorrow, Thurs., Jan. 13, a new site will open in Washington County: 

  • Langer’s, 21650 SW Langer Farms Pkwy, Sherwood 
  • Outdoor drive-through clinic 
  • Hours: Mondays through Saturdays, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Vaccine cartoon


Washington Co. Vaccine Information: 


Washington County's Mobile Vaccination Van: The van is traveling the county to make it easier for people to get the vaccine close to where they live or shop. Find the schedule here.

Tektronix (starting Thursday, November 11): This clinic will offer all three vaccines, including boost and pediatric doses. Located at 14200 SW Karl Braun Drive (inside Building 58) in Beaverton. Hours are Monday through Friday from 12-6 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Walk-in only, no appointments. 

Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Centers: All vaccination events are open to the community, do not require an appointment, and do not require you to be a Virginia Garcia patient. You do not have to have insurance in order to receive a vaccine. If you have insurance, please bring your card with you. Remember, vaccines are free!

Beaverton Resource Center: This clinic on Fridays takes place inside the Beaverton Resource Center, 13565 SW Walker Road. Visit Project Access Now's website to make an appointment. All three vaccines are available, including boosters and third doses. This site is currently not offering the pediatric Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. NO CLINIC on December 24, December 31 or January 14.

Paisanos Plaza: This clinic operates every Sunday from 1-5 p.m. It is organized by Oregon Health Authority and Vive NW and offers all vaccines and boosters. It is located at 966 SE Oak Street in Hillsboro. No appointments, ID or health insurance required. Questions? Call the Vive NW hotline at 844-291-4970.

Centro Cultural Clinic: On Saturdays at 1110 N. Adair Street in Cornelius

Centro Clinic


Local pharmacies: As of April 27, 2021, pharmacies are required to offer second/boost doses to people who received their first dose somewhere else.

How much does the vaccine cost?  Vaccines are provided free of charge to the recipient. If you have health insurance, you may be asked to provide that information so the vaccinator can bill your insurance an administration fee.

Mix and Match Approved: The CDC approved a “mix-and-match” strategy that allows anyone qualifying for a booster to receive any of the FDA-authorized vaccines. People may receive either the same or a different COVID-19 vaccine, depending on advice from a health care provider, individual preference, availability or convenience.




hillsboro fire department logo

Hillsboro Main Street Fire Resources

In light of the devastating fire along Main Street on January 2nd, I have provided a few resources to help support the recovery effort. I want to thank Hillsboro Fire & Rescue for keeping our community safe and quickly responding to the fire. I would also like to commend the Hillsboro community for coming together to aid those displaced in the fire.  


5 Ways You Can Help

  • The Hillsboro Community Foundation has set up the Hillsboro Community Relief Fund to provide resources directly to those in desperate need. Donations can be made online and are tax deductible.

  • Marcus Harvey, the owner of Portland Gear, has designed “Heart for Hillsboro” shirts and sweatshirts. Proceeds from the sale of these products will go toward the Hillsboro Community Foundation Relief Fund above.

  • Insomnia Coffee is accepting donations of gift cards for essential items, such as gas and groceries, that will go directly to those displaced by the fires. Please drop off gift cards at the Downtown Hillsboro Insomnia location at 137 East Main Street.

  • The Hillsboro Downtown Partnership is compiling a list of immediate needs for those affected and displaced by the fires. The list will be posted on the HDP Facebook page in the coming days.

  • Other fundraisers are being planned throughout the community and will be announced through the Hillsboro Downtown Partnership. Be cautious of non-sanctioned fundraisers.


Statement from Mayor Steve Callaway
“Our community has been impacted by two fires this weekend: one that displaced 17 people within three apartments on Saturday, and another on Sunday that has visibly impacted our beloved Main Street. Our hearts go out to the families and all of the Main Street businesses affected by the fires. We and the community are here to support them in their recovery.”

In both fires, our firefighters did remarkable work. They stopped the apartment fire from spreading to other units. Their efforts to keep the Main Street fire from spreading was flat-out amazing. And it was a team effort with not only Hillsboro Fire & Rescue firefighters, but also our partners from neighboring agencies: Banks, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Gaston, Portland Fire, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

We are also grateful for our partnerships with NW Natural, PGE, the Red Cross, TriMet, and others whose help allowed us to respond to both of these emergencies and support those affected.”

For updates and video, visit the Hillsboro Fire & Rescue Department Twitter feed


*Thank you to Kimberly Culbertson for working with our office to provide the best resources possible.


Rob drake photo

Rob Drake announces retirement

I have great respect for Rob and his many years of public service to Washington County.  I have personally worked with Rob for over 30 years, first as Mayor of Beaverton and then as City Manager of Cornelius, and there isn't a harder worker or better partner you could have for a project. I wish him the best in this new chapter, though I'm sad to see him go.

You can read more about his departure in the Hillsboro News Times article, authored by Dillon Mullan, below:


Rob Drake, Cornelius city manager, to retire from public service

One of Washington County's longest-tenured public servants is retiring after parts of five decades in various offices. Rob Drake told the Cornelius City Council last month he plans to retire from his position as city manager at the end of June.

"I've had a really exciting and wonderful career. Now I'm looking forward to spending time with my family," Drake said at the Dec. 10 meeting. "I'm really honored to have helped lead Cornelius through the last 10 years in a very genuine and heartfelt way."

Drake, 72, grew up in Northeast Portland before moving to Beaverton. He graduating from Sunset High School in 1967 and earned a degree from Portland State University. Drake analyzed legislation for a think tank, drove a Wonder Bread delivery truck and sold wine before successfully running for Beaverton City Council in 1987. In 1993, he started a four-term, 16-year stint as mayor until 2009.

"I lost a bid for a fifth term. It was embarrassing, but that's part of that process of maturing and learning about life," Drake said. "I'm not the brightest guy in the room. I've always acknowledged that."

In 2021, Beaverton voted to adopt a council-manager form of government, standard for Oregon cities with more than 2,500 people, in which the city council hires a chief executive officer under the title city manager or administrator to supervise day-to-day operations instead of the mayor.

But when Drake was mayor, he had an administrative role, supervising department heads and overseeing City Hall. That gave him experience that made him sought after by other city governments after he left office in Beaverton.

After his time in Beaverton, Drake spent six months as interim city manager in both Tillamook and Carlton. This February, he will mark 10 years as Cornelius' city manager.

Drake earned plaudits for taking the reins of a city government in crisis, stepping in after a feud between former city manager Dave Waffle and former mayor Neal Knight led to Waffle being fired, Knight and two other council members being recalled, and City Hall grappling with an increasingly serious budget shortfall in 2011.

Drake points to the construction of a new Cornelius Public Library as well as an overhaul of the city police as his biggest accomplishments in Cornelius. In 2014, the city disbanded its police department and began contracting with the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

"When I got here, the Latino community felt intimidated by our police department," Drake said. "There was no trust. So we had to make the change."

In 2019, the library more than quadrupled in size when it moved into three three-story Cornelius Place building at the corner of North Adair Street and 14th Avenue.

"I've cherished the many years I've been able to work with Rob. He's set the bar for what it means to be an exceptional public servant," Metro councilor and Cornelius native Juan Carlos González said.

"We previously had people who were regulators, rather than partners, in some staff positions. Rob was instrumental in coaching people, and when we had people try to take advantage of the city, Rob was always there to say no," said Mayor Jef Dalin, who was on the City Council for eight years before becoming mayor after Knight was recalled in 2011.

Dalin added, "We will hire another city manager, but we won't replace Rob Drake."


OHA Marketplace open enrollment


There is still time to get health care coverage for 2022. Open enrollment with the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace closes this Saturday, Jan. 15. If you don’t qualify for the Oregon Health Plan and don’t get health insurance through your employer, this is a critical time. It’s the only time of year most people can sign up for an individual or family plan to have coverage in 2022. Click here to shop for a plan, and read on to learn more about the process. 

Infographic says, "Enroll in health insurance by Jan. 15."




The Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program is paused to new applicants as of December 1, 2021 at 11:59pm.  Please note that Washington County still has rental assistance available.

Rental Assistance Available

While the state has made the difficult decision to pause accepting new applications at midnight on December 1 for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP), Washington County’s local Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program continues to accept applications through existing local pathways.

Community Action, the agency administering the local funds for Washington County, maintains a phone line, an online portal and has established partnerships with other agencies, community-based organizations as well as public health contact tracing staff to get the funds out as quickly as possible. These local funds will continue to be available for income-eligible renters over the foreseeable future.

Oregon has safe harbor rules in place that mean renters cannot be evicted for 60 days, or 90 days in some parts of Washington County, if they show their landlords proof of having applied for any emergency rental assistance program. These maps show the protections for the different jurisdictions within Washington County (Information in English mapping tool) or (Information in Spanish mapping tool Protección contra desalojos (

All renters needing assistance and residing in Washington County are encouraged to apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance program. To learn more on how to apply for emergency rental assistance, visit the Community Action webpage at For immediate resources including shelter and food access contact 2-1-1 online at or by calling 2-1-1.






OEM has put together this list of contacts to help speed up the process of replacing these documents:

The Governor’s office has put together a Wildfire Resources page that you can access from the Governor’s home page.  It has links to many of the most important updates about the status of fires and resources for evacuees.  This website will be updated regularly.  

Legal ResourcesOregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Program, Oregon lawyers, through the Oregon State Bar, are partnering with FEMA and the American Red Cross to provide legal assistance on FEMA claims, contract claims, insurance claims, landlord-tenant matters and more.

The Department of Forestry’s Wildfire Response and Recovery Overview has ongoing updates about firefighting efforts, damage reports, and more.  

FEMA UpdatesFEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.






Washington County Veterans Resources 

American Legion Post 104: (503) 642-4907

American Legion Post 006: (503) 648-7191

Washington County Disability, Aging, and Veteran Services: (503) 846- 3060

Hillsboro VA Clinic: (503) 906-5000

Paws Assisting Veterans:

Veterans of Foreign Wars: (503) 895- 1342

Hillsboro Elks Lodge: (503) 648- 1862

Rock Creek Veteran Resources | Veteran Resources at PCC : (971) 722-7743 or 7744

Veterans Support | Pacific University


Mental Health Services: 

  • Washington County Crisis Line | 503-291-9111
  • Crisis Text Line | Text “Connect” to 741741
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline | 1-800-273-8255
  • Trevor Lifeline | 1-866-488-7386




Employers and Employees

The following list of resources is from Oregon’s Secretary of State’s Office. The fastest way to get in touch with the SOS team is by emailing, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority



The beautiful grounds of the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove


Grand Lodge in Forest Grove


Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301