Port of Siuslaw

School Board Mulls New School Year Possibilities; Food Share Donates Thousands to Feeding of Students; Slow Memorial Day Weekend Expected; New COVID-19 Cases, New Deaths; Listening Sessions with City; Lane County Passes Phase One

School Board Mulls New School Year Possibilities

It was a very busy night for the Siuslaw School Board as they face an unsure future regarding the upcoming school year.  The budget for the 2020-2021 school year is in limbo as the board is waiting for results from a May 20th revenue forecast.  While the budget is a big concern the board is also addressing possible scenarios for the school year.  There is currently no state level plan for reopening schools and superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak says there probably will not be one for a while.  Schools will likely have classroom size restrictions and to address that the board is looking at splitting classes by having half of the student body in school during the morning and half in the afternoon.  Another possibility could play out if parents are fearful of sending their children back to school as well as some falling in the vulnerable category.  In that scenario teachers would be tasked to teach those students through the distance model while the rest attend classes on campus.  The school board is also looking at the possibility of distance learning for all students and if all goes well, there is still the possibility of a return to regular class schedules.  It will likely be some time before we know which direction will be taken due to the current climate surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food Share Donates Thousands to Feeding of Students

The feeding of students is an ongoing issue with the Siuslaw School Board.  Food distribution is ongoing through the rest of the school year and will continue through the summer according to school superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak.  Grzeskowiak wanted to make sure that the public was aware that the Florence Food Share has raised over 32 thousand dollars in funds to enable the distribution to continue.  The district will expand the summer food program from its normal 4 fixed sites to the current 22 stops that it is making.  Last week the school participated in a trial run of an evening meal delivery program in partnership with Food Share that delivered 78 family meals consisting of pasta casserole dishes and breadsticks for 4 people.  The plan is to expand that delivery to more families in the future.

Slow Memorial Day Weekend Expected

AAA Oregon is reporting that reservations are very slow for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend.  With travel restrictions in place across the country it looks as though Americans will be staying home this holiday according to Marie Dodds with AAA.  This year AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast, a first in 20 years.  Last year more than half a million Oregonians traveled during the holiday.  Dodds says this year they are expecting an all time low.

New COVID-19 Cases, New Deaths

The Oregon Health Authority has confirmed 55 new cases of the coronavirus and along with that number there are 4 new deaths to report bringing that total to 134.  Three of those deaths were reported in Polk County including a 100 year old woman.  Two other deaths were reported in Polk County and one in Washington County.  Those three were all in their 90’s and OHA is reporting that all had underlying health conditions.  There were no new COVID-19 cases reported for Lane County.  That total stands at 60 with one presumptive case added to that total.

Listening Sessions with City

The City of Florence would like to get feedback on the State’s reopening strategy.  They will be holding a number of listening sessions next Tuesday and Wednesday.  The sessions are intended to give Oregon government agencies information on how to best respond to the business community’s needs during the current executive order and during the recovery process.  Some of the topics include what innovations have been employed to adapt to social distancing restrictions, what support or training would be beneficial, what changes are predicted, and what sources has your business sought during the crisis.  Information on times are available on the city’s website ci.florence.or.us

Lane County Passes Phase One

At 10 am this morning Governor Kate Brown will hold a press conference to announce which counties have passed the provisions for reopening under phase one of her plan.  We learned earlier this morning that the governor informed the lane county board of commissioners in a letter to Jay Bozievich yesterday that the county was been approved for phase one. More than 30 counties have submitted proposals to the governor.  Many businesses will be allowed to open with certain restrictions tomorrow, but phase one participants will have a wider range of abilities and include sit down service for restaurants, barbers and salons, and gym and fitness centers.  There is also an allowance for gatherings of up to 25 people.  All allowances come with strict adherence to social distancing policies.