In short, Bethel School District was already implementing nearly all the OHA’s recommendations: reinforcing handwashing, covering coughs, and avoiding touching the face; encouraging students and staff to stay home when ill; disinfecting high-touch surfaces.
The OHA also encourages schools to attempt to check on students with coughs. Teachers are aware of this guidance and will refer any students coughing, sneezing or generally looking unwell to the school health room.
OHA has asked schools to attempt to reduce interactions between individuals at lunch and recess. Bethel School District is currently looking into whether and how that could happen in our schools.
For the third consecutive year the Willamette Culinary Team has won the state ProStart championship.
The five-member team and their coaches will travel to Washington, D.C. in May to compete in the national championships. Willamette finished 6th in the nation two years ago.
The Wil-Hi chefs also received an award for the best menu.
The team of Samantha Thompson, Makayla Schweitzer, Anthony Bondio, Charlise Stewart and Payton Glover have been practicing since October, perfecting how to prepare a gourmet meal in one hour using only two propane burners and no electric-powered kitchen utensils.
This is the 5th state Culinary championship for Willamette.
Questions have been asked about the coronavirus and Bethel School District’s preparation and response to a potential outbreak. Below is the latest information available, but be aware it will likely change because the circumstances around the virus are very fluid.
Communication: Expect regular and possibly changing information from us. Bethel School District remains in close contact with Lane County Public Health (LCPH) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) on how to best prepare for the possibility of the virus spreading and impacting our schools in some way. The coronavirus, also called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is a respiratory disease that has been confirmed in Oregon.
Here is a Q&A from ODE and the Oregon Health Authority. We are also seeking input from LCPH on prevention. This is a new experience for everyone, but we will continue giving you updated, factual information as soon as it is available.
Immediate Response: As of today, all Bethel schools will be disinfected on a daily basis. This means all flat surfaces like desks and table tops, as well as door knobs, heavily trafficked areas, etc., will be wiped down. This is a proactive step to help prevent the spread of this virus.
All of our teachers will be re-teaching healthy habits with their students, referring to this flyer provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which has emphasized that simple washing of hands is important to limiting the spread of COVID-19. Please reaffirm these common steps with your children at home so their healthy habits become second nature.
Masks: The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. There is no state ban against your child wearing a medical mask at school. However, face masks do not filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by coughs and sneezes. If your child is sick, please do not send them to school. The same message is being shared with staff.
Long-Term Preparation: The District is working to determine what education and meals might be able to take place and how that would work if, in a worst-case scenario, schools were asked to close for weeks at a time. We are in the midst of determining the options and there are many factors to consider. As we settle on more concrete ideas, those will be shared with you.
In that same vein, please begin making your own arrangements for childcare should our schools be closed for an extended period. Again, we do not anticipate the worst-case scenario.
More Resources: Accurate and fact-based information is always helpful. So, here are some reliable sites for those who want to learn more.