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Mitchell School District


Superintendent Vince Swagerty

August 11, 2020


Dear Mitchell School families and community members,

 It’s hard to imagine that the first day of school is less than a month away.  On Monday, August 31st, our local students are scheduled to come back to the classroom during the most extraordinary times I have experienced in my educational career either as a student, teacher, or administrator.  I want to take this time to share information that will help you as we move forward into these uncharted areas.  I also want you to know that we are EXCITED to have kids come back.  We have really missed them and we look forward to being able to teach them every day.

 As of the writing of this letter all of the schools in Wheeler County are able to open with students in classrooms so we are continuing to plan for in-person classes.  Currently, Wheeler County is the ONLY county in Oregon in which schools are allowed to meet in person because our county has not had ANY positive COVID-19 cases.  However, at some point it seems reasonable to believe that Wheeler County will have our first coronavirus case and at some point it is very likely that Mitchell School will have to teach students remotely as we did last year.  Therefore, our staff, students and parents must be ready for in-person learning as well as distance learning.

When students return to school on August 31st things will operate very differently than in the past.

Students will:

  1. Be required to wear a face covering.

  2. Stay with their cohort throughout the school day.

  3. Eat in assigned seats in the lunchroom.

  4. Use an assigned restroom that only their cohort will use.

  5. Follow social distancing requirements in each of their classrooms.

  6. Use their own supplies at all levels (no mixing of school supplies).

  7. In the middle and high school, carry their own bags and books as we will not be assigning lockers.

  8. Enter and exit the school through assigned doors.

The school will:

  1. Not have any assemblies or gatherings.

  2. Not host dances.

  3. Not take in person field trips.

  4. Host virtual conferences during our two conference days.

  5. Continue to hold virtual school board meetings.

  6. Make sure social distancing measures are followed.

  7. Provide a comprehensive education to students who cannot or will not attend in-person classes due to medical reasons.

Parents and members of the community will:

  1. Only be allowed to access the school through the main entrance and stay in the area by the office.

  2. Be asked to make appointments to see staff prior to coming to the school and utilize either the phone or distance meeting opportunities when possible.

  3. Not use the playground equipment which will be fenced off for exclusive use by our K-5 students.

  4. Wear a face covering at all times when entering the building.

Please understand that this list is in no way complete.  Our blueprint for reopening schools is posted on our website at  I encourage you to read the plan and familiarize yourself with the details.

Even with all of these COVID-19 restrictions, we are excited to have kids come back and have school here in the building.  Our registration is currently open.  Please either call 541-462-3311 and register by phone (new this year) or set an appointment to come see Valerie and register.  

Personally, I want you all to know that I have really missed having a hallway with kids and I can’t wait to have them back with us.  We will endure the pandemic.  Our focus will be to thrive and not just survive.  The pandemic is forcing us to operate differently but we are going to use this as an opportunity to learn new things and have an amazing experience.

If we get to have onsite learning all year….WONDERFUL.  If we have to utilize distance learning at some point during the year…..WONDERFUL (maybe just a little less wonderful, I’ll admit).  Either way, we are planning on a fantastic year of education and I am ready for the challenge.  I hope you and your students are ready as well.



Vince Swagerty, Superintendent

Mitchell SD #55

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