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COVID 19 Update – April 15, 2020

We’d like to start this message with a deep breath and acknowledgement of being mid-way through the 1st week of Distance Learning for All.  A huge thanks to the adults who rolled up their sleeves and wrapped their heads around new ways of engaging with students and families.  We thank those of you who have shared successes and accomplishments!

We have also appreciated the feedback from employees about the importance of regular communication from the ESD.  We will continue regular communications, however, will be transitioning back to using the FLASH! email newsletter as our primary method of sharing information and will be moving to twice weekly communication. Employees who are experiencing difficulty accessing email should put in a technology help ticket.

In closing we’d like to share a sweet video featuring Jincy Roberson, 4J instructional assistant assigned to Heidi Corce’s (teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing) classroom.

As always, stay safe and keep washing those hands!

COVID 19 Update – April 14, 2020

Thanks to the many employees who have already completed the brief technology survey sent out in yesterday’s update.   If you haven’t completed your survey, please do so by Friday, April 17th

Some parents in Lane ESD programs have inquired about community resources related to job loss and other COVID 19 related supports.  Parents can call 211 to get information on community supports, including child care.  In addition, they can be referred to the website of their resident district where in most cases, local resource information can also be found.

This week additional guidance was provided related to the expectation to that public schools provide child care under the Governor’s Executive Order for emergency and essential workers.  In Lane County there are active child care offerings in Springfield, Eugene 4J, Fern Ridge, Siuslaw and South Lane school districts.  Schools have been instructed to continue offering child care in current locations, but not to add additional child care options.  There continues to be capacity in various child care locations in Lane County. The sign up for child care is centralized through the YMCA’s online registration process. Note: Child care is not available for “drop in” or respite and is not available to individuals who have the ability to work remotely.  ODE will identify if there additional needs for child care and work with specific districts to add capacity as needed. 

At the end of last week we began deploying instructional assistants in a variety of roles to support students throughout the area: staffing district child care, delivering backpacks of supplies to Migrant Education Program students, delivery of equipment to Life Skills and Lane School students, and assisting teachers in locating instructional resources. Thanks to everyone for helping us fulfill the vision of the Governor’s Executive Order and ODE’s framework of Ensuring Care, Connection and Continuity of Learning as we support Distance Learning for All!

Coronavirus Update – April 13, 2020 

As we have shifted to a majority of staff working remotely, we ask that employees complete this brief survey so that we can assess ongoing technology support needs.  We would like all staff to complete the survey by Friday, April 17th

Take Leaves and Working Remotely
Employees who are required to report to work (in person, remotely or a combination of the two) are expected to submit leave requests as they normally would to take time off for appointments, sick leave, vacation, and such.   If the leave is COVID 19 related, employees may be eligible for leave using the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

We encourage employees who are working remotely to take off when feeling ill to facilitate recovery.

COVID 19 Update – April 10, 2020


We made it through quite an eventful week –one filled with changes and clarification for how we will do our work through the end of the 2019-20 school year.  We continue to be gratified to see Lane ESD employees taking on various challenges with creativity, grace, perseverance, and enthusiasm! We will need all of these for the long haul.

Please continue to take care of yourself, family, and friends by staying home as much as possible and taking care of your physical and mental health.   Our collective efforts appear to be making a difference in our community!

Thank you and have a great weekend!

COVID 19 Update -April 9, 2020

Yesterday we shared Governor Brown’s decision to extend her Executive Order (EO) closing schools through the end of the 2019-20 school year.  This means ESD staff will continue to be paid through the end of the school year. 

We also know that in some cases family members’ employment has been impacted by business closures.  As always, when a spouse, domestic partner, or otherwise qualified child loses insurance coverage, employees may enroll these individuals in their ESD coverage.  Such additions must take place within 31 days of the loss of coverage.

In order to do this, employees should complete a “Midyear Change Form” that can be found on the OEBB website (https://www.oregon.gov/oha/oebb/pages/forms.aspx). In addition to your information, only information that is being added or changed needs to be included on the form.

The completed form, along with documentation of your family member’s loss of coverage, can be faxed (541-541-8381), emailed hr@lesd.k12.or.us or mailed to Human Resources. Please do not include any social security numbers on the form. Contact HR (541-461-8202) if you have any questions.

COVID 19 Update – April 8, 2020

COVID 19 Update April 8, 2020

Today the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) updated their Distance Learning for All guidance to include Graduation Pathways 2020.  We ask that staff review this information.

In addition, ODE shared Governor Brown’s announcement extension of the executive order closing schools through the end of the 2019-20 school year. We now know the plans and efforts we are making to support distance learning will continue through June.

Lane ESD staff are doing amazing work to support ESD staff and districts in achieving the ODE’s goal of Distance Learning for All.

Some things our Technology department completed in the last week to help others move quickly with new ideas of Digital Learning for All and a remote workforce include:

  • Phones for the Lane School teachers are now set to forward to their personal cell phone. This allows them to receive calls that normally would go to their class without having to publicize their personal phone number. In addition they are practicing the use of *67 to block their personal number when making outgoing calls.
  • Lane School is getting set to use the “Remind” application for future parent communication.
  • The ESD owns approximately 100 student dedicated devices. Devices are being re-purposed in multiple ways: to the Sign Language Interpreters as they try to adjust their ability to provide interpretation in a remote setting; check out to go home with students in our programs that have expressed a need in their home.
  • Remote access to the file server has been configured on 40 main campus staff members’ laptops to allow access to files necessary to effectively work at home.
  • County wide the tech staff have rolled out a Mobile plugin for webmail allowing staff across the county to check their email easily from a mobile device in case access to a computer is more limited. 

Technology staff are trying out new remote tools as well in order to continue to provide some of the “here let me show” you support that we have become accustom to.

In addition to the collaborative efforts with Technology staff, assigned Special Education teachers have been busy printing packets to send home to students.  Special Education is hosting a Special Education Directors Network to support common planning, resource sharing, and problem-solving.

Migrant Education Program (MEP) staff have called over 800 families to check in about food and technology support needs and have shared this information with districts.  MEP staff also prepared backpacks with instructional resources and will be delivering these to families with the help of several Life Skills instructional assistants.

The School Improvement team has continued to support teachers and districts’ staff by creating and hosting instruction networks. Educators in these networks have shared distance learning resources created and/or vetted by SI team members in collaboration with educators from around the State.

School Improvement also developed and is offering an Intro to Google Classroom course to assist teachers in their efforts to provide effective instructional supports to students.

A Distance Learning for All – Lane ESD Assistance resource page on the ESD website was created to support streamlined access to key information and resources.

These are but a small sampling of the efforts being made by ESD staff.  Please give a “shout out” to your colleagues for work well done in less than ideal circumstances, work done with positive and creative energy, and continued focus on student needs by embracing the guiding principles of Care, Connection, and Continuity of Learning!

COVID 19 Update – April 6, 2020

We continue working to support Distance Learning for All initiatives in districts and Lane ESD programs.  Tomorrow we will highlight the some of the department accomplishments to-date. 

There were no new announcements from ODE today, however, we expect additional information later this week. 

We appreciate the calls and emails with your questions and appreciate your patience with some delays in responding as well acclimate to “business as unusual.”

COVID 19 Update – April 2, 2020

More thanks to employees who have emailed questions or information after reading the COSA, OSBA, OEA, OSEA and OAESD joint letter that was shared in the staff email and posted on the ESD website on March 31, 2020. 

We want to acknowledge that not every employee has the same level of access to technology to check email or the ESD website.  Regardless of the method you are using –laptop, desktop, tablet or cell phone, we appreciate your perseverance and efforts in following the communications being distributed. None of us are working under ideal circumstances and your patience and flexibility is valued.

Lane ESD is working diligently to establish a resource page for districts and Lane ESD staff to support our collective efforts for providing distance learning for all.

Child care is now being offered in Eugene, Springfield, Eugene 4J, Fern Ridge, and South Lane School districts. Except in Springfield Public Schools, child care facilities are now open to essential workers and no longer restricted to emergency health care personnel.

We are processing requests for staffing assistance in serving students with special needs who are in need of child care placements.  As we review these requests we will be contacting instructional assistants for assignments. 

COVID 19 Update – April 1, 2020

There was a problem with the link to the joint letter posted in yesterday’s ESD staff update. Some employees were able to access the letter, however, later the link was not working. Thanks to Ben Welch for reporting this issue.  The link has now been fixed on the March 31 update.

Thank you to employees who have emailed questions about “at risk” health status so that we can provide appropriate direction related to leaves and work assignments.

Lane ESD licensed staff convened today to discuss supports to districts and special education services to students in Lane ESD programs based on Oregon’s Extended School Year Guidance.  These staff have rolled up their sleeves to do some heavy lifting with creative, positive energy and a focus on students and families.

We continue to be grateful that we, along with other ESD and school employees across state, are considered essential employees and are being paid under the Governor’s Executive Order. We know that many friends and neighbors are not so fortunate.

As part of today’s work assignment employees are to view this MODA Wellness Program webinar “Staying Healthy at Home During COVID-19

COVID 19 Update-March 31, 2020

On Sunday, COSA, OSBA, OEA, OSEA and OAESD released a joint letter written in collaboration with the Governor and the Oregon Department of Education. This letter was written with the belief that all education stakeholders need to work in collaboration now more than ever.  All employees are expected to review this letter.    Please note specifically recommendation #4; if you are an employee who meets one of the criteria listed and cannot report to work physically (in person) or remotely, please email hr@lesd.k12.or.us so that we can determine specific state or federal leave provisions or aspects of the governor’s Executive Order (EO) that apply to your situation.  

Last night, ODE released Oregon’s Extended School Year Guidance.  This guidance represents a significant shift and is now requiring districts to provide distance learning for all students.   We also ask that staff review this document.  Administrative and licensed staff will are developing plans for Lane ESD programs and for methods of supporting districts in meeting these new requirements.

All ESD employees are being paid under the Governor’s EO, however, not all employees have the same requirements for reporting to work.  At minimum all employees should do the following:

  • Check and read email daily/or check the ESD staff updates daily
  • Be available for calls from supervisors, teachers, or other designated staff

Note: Instructional Assistants will not be expected to physically report to work this week- only remote work is expected.

This continues to be a time of rapid and changing information.  We are thankful for the collaborative efforts of so many ESD staff across the agency who are supporting internal and external services. 

COVID 19 Update – March 27, 2020

As Spring Break concludes, this continues to be a time of rapid change requiring us all to be flexible. As questions come up, please email these to the hr@lesd.k12.or.us address. Questions from employees help us refine our communication and we do appreciate them. 

REPORTING TO WORK
An email was sent to main campus staff on Wednesday, March 25th; employees assigned to the main campus should refer to this email for direction.

Special Education licensed staff (teachers, consultants, School Psychologists, SLPs, DHH/VI teachers, and sign language interpreters) will not report to work on Monday.  Special Education supervisors emailed these employees with information on next steps and employees should be available to monitor emails or for phone contacts.  Please refer to these communications for information about next week.

Special Education Instructional Assistants will not report to work on Monday or Tuesday.   Instructional Assistants should continue to monitor email communications for instructions. Administrators will be planning with teachers and districts regarding supplemental learning supports and child care, and will make assignments as these plans are solidified.  

Note: Instructional Assistants who have forgotten their email password can submit a technology ticket to request a password reset or call Mary Griswold at 541-461-8251.  Instructional Assistants who do not have access to email at home should call their supervisor:
Renee Beard               541-463-8540

Justin Radabaugh        541-463-8502

Annie Whiddon          541-461-8377

HANDLING COVID-19 RELATED CONCERNS ABOUT REPORTING TO Work (whether in person or remotely)
For employees who are required to report to work (in person, remotely or a combination of the two), the Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) has stated that employees may use OFLA leave during the current closure to care for their children. The employee can then use sick leave or other paid leaves for this time off.  Paperwork related to OFLA/FMLA leave is available on the Lane ESD website. The newly passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act also provides support for individuals needing to stay home to care for children who are not in school due to COVID 19 related closure.

Employees who have a condition that makes them at greater risk from COVID-19 (and do not qualify for state or federal leaves), and are not experiencing symptoms are expected to report to work, if required.  Supervisors will work with employees in this situation on accommodations such as flexible work schedule or working remotely, if feasible for the assignment.  

Employees who have COVID-19 related concerns about reporting to work (whether in person or remotely) should contact their supervisor or Human Resources.

KEY POINTS FROM PREVIOUS COMMUNICATIONS
All ESD employees (classified, licensed, professional, and administrative) are being paid during the period of time schools are closed due the Governor’s Executive Order (EO).  The EO applies to schools and ESDs.

ESD employees should not file unemployment claims during this period time since wages are being received.

Leaves will not be charged for any days that an employee is not required to report to work during the closure period specified in the Governor’s EO.

Classified employees will only need to submit time sheets for dates they are required to work.  For dates that classified employees are not required to report, wages are still being paid based on assigned work calendar.

Classified employees who are required to work (remotely or in person) will submit time sheets and use leaves as they normally do.

COVID 19 Update – March 26, 2020

We hope this correspondence finds all of you well, rested and ready to continue your important work in the education field.  The Governor has deemed us essential during this COVID-19 pandemic and we are hoping you are taking some pride in that. 

Taking time to stop and reflect, you should realize that you have always been essential, even though others have not necessarily acknowledged this.  Those of you who work directly with students, though, have experienced those special rewards that can only come directly from those you serve–our kids.  We implore you at this difficult time to remember that while you have a job in education very few, if any, got into this business just because it was a “job.”  More likely it was a calling to serve others. Furthermore, you do this to have a positive impact on those you serve, not for the recognition. However, wanted or not, you now have some recognition.

The state is ensuring that all school district and ESD employees are paid their salaries during the school closure period.  You may be getting some recognition of this from neighbors and community members that is not all positive.  Many during this crisis are barely holding onto jobs or are already out of work.  We are fortunate to have employment and to be called by the Governor to do our part for our students, families, districts and community.

Lane ESD team members who do not work directly in schools have continued to work during the closure.  We are very grateful for our custodians who are keeping our work spaces clean and sanitized.  Our Business Department is still processing bills and payroll, our School Improvement staff is busy finding ways to support district ventures into supplemental learning, our Special Education administration is planning for the complicated task of serving our students who experience disabilities in new, unique ways since they are unable to interact with them in person and our Technology Department is extremely busy trying to support all the virtual communication that is already happening and that will happen to an even greater degree soon.

In these areas we have already seen how work is now looking different than normal.  Most have transitioned to working remotely from home or in some combination of home and regular work space.  In component districts, many of our peers have been busy feeding kids and setting up childcare rooms for children of healthcare providers and emergency responders.  For those of you who have not been working since the school closure began, we are asking you to “report” to work next week.  For the specifics about date, time and nature of work, your supervisor will be contacting you.

We fully trust that our Lane ESD team will want to contribute in an appropriate manner.  Please note that due to individual personal health related situations, you may not see everyone doing the same work.  Some will be contributing behind the scenes and some may have to be on the sidelines lending whatever support they can.   Please be supportive, encouraging, and sensitive to your teammates.  We will get through this by staying together and by doing what you always do—making positive contributions to our students, staff, schools and communities. 

Rest up so you can fulfill the call to do your “essential” best.  Take care of yourselves and each other.