Canby School District Classes Start Thursday

Due to ongoing air quality issues and wildfire evacuations, classes have been canceled in the Canby School District for Tuesday and Wednesday, the district informed parents Monday. The first day of school will be Thursday, Sept. 17.

However, there will be no meal service this week. Due to dangerous air quality, it is unsafe for staff to prepare meals in the district’s schools, officials said Wednesday.

Grab-and-go meals will be available for pick-up next week at Baker Prairie, Ninety-One, Eccles, and Carus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meal delivery will resume Sept. 28.

“This past week and a half has been challenging and, at times, scary,” Principal Skyler Rodolph said in a message to Ninety-One School families Wednesday. “My prayer is that all of you are safe and recovering well. We are ready and anxious to get started.”

Parents and students should have received updated schedules and other information from their teachers Wednesday.

With an unknown number of area residents still dealing with the fallout of wildfires, power outages and widespread evacuation orders that have only just begun to be lifted this week, district officials were understanding of the fact that many families may not be ready to jump back into school mode.

In a letter to families Wednesday, Eccles Elementary Principal Andy McKean said the first couple of days “will just be about connecting and checking in with our students.” While there will be some academic tasks, there will not be assignments that will set students back if they miss them.

“How best to balance school with other competing priorities will be different for everyone — please know that we understand this and will work to support kids however we can,” said Carus Principal Sam Thompson. “All of that being said, I am so excited to get going! I’ll miss the squeaky sneakers on the shiny waxed floors, but I look forward to seeing your kids’ smiling faces online.”

Monday’s announcement meant the devastating wildfires that have ravaged much of Clackamas County since Labor Day have also wiped clean a full seven instructional days from the district’s calendar, assuming the closure is not extended further.

The start of the 2020-21 school year was already destined to be an unusual one, thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which forced Canby into a combination of distance learning (which it hopes to pivot into a hybrid model in the winter or spring) and an online learning academy.

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