In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Oregon schools had no choice but to close. But now they are proving themselves to be the essential community resources they are. And this is especially true of the Greater Albany Public Schools.
Take a look at the way the superintendent, Melissa Goff, addressed the community on the district’s website on Saturday. You can read her complete message here. The main message is that the school administration clearly understands the effect on families of schools being closed through the end the month.
There is, first, the matter of pupils relying on meals at school. The district is solving that problem, as far as it can, by having set up a program of handing out, at 12 schools, free sack lunches at specific times around mid-day each weekday. The kids have to show up in person — little ones presumably with a parent or sitter — and this makes sense.
Children of any age up through 18 can get these lunches. They don’t have to be enrolled in GAPS. That’s an intelligent way not to let bureaucracy get in the way of helping kids.
What about their families? Well, the superintended says in her message, the district is working with Fish of Albany to provide nonperishable food. Families facing food emergencies can go to Fish, that great charity on Hill Street, and get help. “Let them know the District sent you,” the superintendent says. “They will provide you support.”
Some parts of the great Oregon Public have been acting like idiots in the grip of COVID hysteria by stripping the grocery stores of essentials for basic meals, not to mention hygiene. Where food is concerned, it is good to know that our school system and its leaders have kept their heads and are quickly and calmly taking steps to do what they can to help. (hh)