Dear St. Paul Community

Saint Paul School District Board of Directors

20449 Main St. NE

Saint Paul, Oregon  97137

Dec. 14, 2020

Saint Paul Community,

We are pleased to share with you that the Saint Paul School District (SPSD) Board of Directors, recently passed an important resolution urging Governor Brown to prioritize the return of students to in-person instruction. Our district is currently in full comprehensive distance learning with some allowable limited in-person instruction due to COVID rates in Marion County not meeting the metrics set forth by the state to return to large-scale, district-wide in-person instruction. 

Educating and developing students into well rounded adults who can stand confidently, participate fully, learn continually, and contribute meaningfully to our world including; focusing on their mental, emotional, physical, and social well-being, is the Saint Paul School District’s primary goal.  At the same time, the district's highest priority is to safeguard the health and wellness of its students, staff, and the community at large. Despite heroic efforts by SPSD teachers, staff, and administrators who are working harder than ever before, there are currently undeniable setbacks to student’s educational and mental health due to comprehensive distance learning. 

Findings from other states and countries where schools reopened are demonstrating that schools are not super spreaders, but in fact, serve as guardians against transmission because social distancing and mask wearing are adhered to, contact tracing is performed, and robust communication with the local public health authority occurs. While the SPSD has had exposure, at the time this letter was drafted, it had reported one (1) case brought into and not transmitted further within the School District and has not had an outbreak. A strong commitment to safety has made this possible. 

With passing of this resolution, the Saint Paul School District Board implores Governor Brown to prioritize the return of all students in grades K-6 to in-person learning, to return students in grades 7-12 to a nominal cohort based limited in-person instruction, with an ultimate goal of returning all students to a full in-person school as soon as possible, by establishing metrics that follow the science and align with many states and countries which have prioritized education first and foremost by reopening schools, or delegating authority to local districts to decide when it is appropriate for these students to safely return to school.

Please feel free to reach out to the SPSD Administration or Board if you have any questions and/or would like to discuss this resolution.  Thank you for your unwavering support for our students! 

Gratefully, 

SPSD Board of Directors  


RESOLUTION OF THE SAINT PAUL SCHOOL BOARD REGARDING STATE GUIDANCE

WHEREAS, the vision of the Saint Paul School District as outlined in the Saint Paul Brand is to maintain a coordinated Pre-K-12 program designed to improve student achievement and to develop each student into an adult who can stand confidently, participate fully, learn continually and contribute meaningfully to our world;

WHEREAS, educating students well, including; focusing on their mental, emotional, physical, and social well-being, while continuing to safeguard the health of our students, our staff, and our community is our highest priority, and there are undeniable educational and mental health setbacks to all students due to comprehensive distance learning;

WHEREAS, elementary students are mastering foundational learning skills that will be required for secondary grades and beyond, and the impact of prolonged distance learning may impede their ability to do so;

WHEREAS, students experiencing poverty and homelessness, students experiencing disabilities, and students learning a second language are being harmed disproportionately by comprehensive distance learning;

WHEREAS, teachers are the number one reporters of abuse and abuse reports are down significantly in our state due to comprehensive distance learning;

WHEREAS, connections with caring adults have been proven to play a significant role in healthy cognitive development of children and youth;

WHEREAS, pediatricians have weighed the substantial harm to children and parents from keeping schools closed and recommend offering in-person learning in communities where the virus is under control;

WHEREAS, the CDC has recommended in-person learning where appropriate safety measures can be put in place and maintained;

WHEREAS, Saint Paul School District is committed to creating a safe learning environment with appropriate safety measures for all;

WHEREAS, Saint Paul School District has created an online school option for all ages for families wishing to keep students at home;

WHEREAS, findings from other states and countries where schools reopened are demonstrating that schools are not super spreader locations, but in fact, serve as guardians against transmission because social distancing and mask wearing are adhered to, contact tracing is performed, and robust communication with the local public health authority occurs;

WHEREAS, Saint Paul School District has proven our commitment to work with the Marion County Health Authority to ensure we are following all safety protocols and are able to quickly identify staff, students, and cohorts who have been exposed to or are confirmed to have COVID-19, connect them with medical professionals, and remove them and any “close contacts” from the school community, thereby helping slow the spread in the community.

WHEREAS, the Saint Paul School District is a small school of less than 250 total students spread over four (4) buildings with adequate space to provide for proper social distancing to meet the CDC and state guidelines;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Saint Paul School District wants to thank Governor Brown for the recent reevaluation of the metrics in Oregon which allow over 100,000 more students to return to in-person learning; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Saint Paul School District urges Governor Brown to reevaluate the metrics for reopening, incorporating scientific data emerging from within the United States and other countries where school reopening has not resulted in increased community spread of COVID-19; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Saint Paul School District urges Governor Brown and local governments to put the welfare and education of children first in Oregon by adopting and enforcing measures to reduce community spread and prioritize funding for K-12 education to manage the increased costs of in-person instruction during the pandemic; and

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, the Saint Paul School District implores Governor Brown to prioritize the return of all students in grades K-6 to in-person learning, to return students in grades 7-12 to a nominal cohort based limited in-person instruction, with an ultimate goal of returning all students to full in-person school as soon as possible, by establishing metrics that follow the science and align with many states and countries which have prioritized education first and foremost by reopening schools or delegating authority to local districts to decide when it is appropriate for these students to safely return to school.

ADOPTED this 14th day of December 2020.