Ontario High School empty hall

The 400 hall of Ontario High School sits vacant on Friday afternoon. Students of Ontario, as well as all public school students in Oregon, will not return to class for the remainder of March as Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has mandated that schools close to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

ONTARIO — It will be a while longer before Oregon students return to their classrooms, as Oregon Gov. Kate Brown extended the mandatory school closure until April 28.

As part of the executive order, Brown said that all schools will continue to receive allocations from the State School Fund during the period of closure, but they must meet certain guidelines, including delivering “supplemental education and learning supports to students,” continue meal support (transportation grant funds can be used by public schools for delivery of meals), provide supplemental series and emergency management services (this includes child care for first responders, emergency workers, health care professionals among others), develop plans for operation of essential, non-educational services, and continue to pay all employees.

The last item means that schools (unlike other businesses, including restaurants and bars) will not have to make temporary layoffs due to the closure.

Administrators of Ontario School District have been meeting this week to figure out the logistics of how to continue educating students while the schools are closed. On Tuesday night, Ontario High School asked all students to resound to a questionnaire to figure out which students have access to wifi at home and which students require transit to get to campus.

Ontario School District Public Relations and Communications Director Taryn Smith said more information about the district’s master plan for the extended closure will be available in the next couple of days.

Nik Streng is the sports reporter for the Argus Observer. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015 with a master's degree in journalism, after graduating from Pacific University in 2013 with a degree in creative writing.

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