Communications Digest 10/7

The communications digest is BACK! And this version is packed with information so buckle up. As always, please let me know how I can make this more useful for you all.

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Communicating about quarantine, exclusions and isolation – Please review and share necessary pieces with staff.

Great job making it through the first few weeks of full-time school in a pandemic! You all have done a tremendous job working with students and families to provide information and meet the needs of those who need to spend time away from school due to quarantine or exclusion.

In communicating with families, a few terms have been confused with one another, causing some misinformation to be provided. Please review the graphic below: 

! In general – Teachers and other school staff should not be providing information regarding quarantine timelines, testing out of exclusion periods or otherwise. Staff should refer questions to their supervisor (you) or designated nurse or health assistant for clarification on COVID-related questions. Most questions can also be answered on our COVID website at Please direct families here if they are seeking more information.

Note: I’ll email all principals this graphic and a few more that I think are helpful in working through this complicated topic. A blog post will soon be up for you to share with families. Please ask questions!


Just a reminder to please complete 10 walk-throughs in preparation for the next ad council and bring the data for our time together. These walk-throughs are an excellent opportunity to reinforce care and connection and behavioral engagement.

Please Share with staff: Indigenous People’s Day, Monday October 11th

The Bethel Native Parent Committee will gather Monday morning at 6:30 a.m. at the Bethel School to put out Tribal Flags that represent the 574 recognized Tribes.  Later that day, at 6 p.m., we will gather for a very brief ceremony to celebrate our Native communities and remove the Tribal flags. All staff are invited to join us! 

Some historical background: The origins of Indigenous Peoples Day dates back to 1989 when the South Dakota legislature passed legislation changing the second Monday in October from Columbus Day to Native American Day, celebrating the day for the first time in 1990.  The state of Oregon voted to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in a new bill passed in 2021 by the Oregon Legislature.

Poll for you

Would it be helpful to have a 1-hour lunch zoom conversation with myself and Sherine to answer any and all COVID-related questions? Please fill out this google form so we can determine a day and time:

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Contact tracing on the weekends

As a school district, we do not have the capacity to contact trace on the weekends. So, in an effort to provide Sherine and principals with some reprieve, the district will not complete contact tracing efforts on Saturdays and Sundays.

A few notes on this:

  • As a school district, we don’t have the staffing to contact trace 24/7. Lane County Public Health does not contact trace on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The last notifications regarding student and staff quarantine should aim to be issued by 5:30 p.m. Friday.
  • Regardless of contact tracing efforts, students or staff members who test positive will be directed to stay home and quarantine and will be provided information regarding quarantine timelines ASAP.  
  • When in doubt, ask students/staff to remain home. For example: Been exposed to a confirmed case? Don’t come in on Monday and get tested. Have primary symptoms? Don’t come in on Monday and get tested. 

Going forward: When a principal or assistant principal learns of a positive case over the weekend, please do two things:

  1. Advise the student or staff member who tested positive to stay home from school. They will be contacted by a district nurse on Monday with additional details regarding quarantine timelines.
  2. Email Sherine with what you’ve learned on Sunday afternoon/evening to give her a heads up.

Have questions? Feel free to reach out to me! 

COVID-19 testing and vaccination

There are a number of local testing and vaccination opportunities available across Lane County, including at our own Cascade Middle School! Check out this link for the most up-to-date and complete list. 

Community building idea from Kraig

At our Ad Council meeting last week we talked about creating a document to record the Funds of Knowledge for staff who work in your buildings. I was thinking that this document could be used to introduce district admin to the teachers/staff in your buildings and also could help build community in your buildings.  Included below is a spreadsheet that has been shared with Cascade teachers/staff. You may want to use a different form, or add different descriptors for each column, but I think it is a great starting point (thanks Ry, Kodjo, and Logan!). You could adjust the columns, but it is a great starting point.  I was somewhat surprised at the number of Cascade staff who enjoy either the Grateful Dead or Jerry Garcia…something I already have in common with that community! 

A new Special Education Manual!

We have a new website version of our Special Education Manual! This has been shared with all special educators, and we wanted you to have access to this awesome resource, too!  You can also find it on the website’s Staff Portal. 

New CRPBIS page  on the website’s Staff Portal.

Here’s the link to share with staff.

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Monday, Oc.t 11 – Indigenous People’s Day

6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11 – Bethel School Board meeting

3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14 – Ad Council

7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 22 – Sub Councils

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As I was leaving the district office on Tuesday there were some pretty beautiful sights outside of the district office ! Check it out.