Frequently Asked Questions

We will continue to gather questions and research answers during this month of working and learning at home. You can submit your questions on the Your Voice: Questions, Concerns & Ideas form.

furlough definition image

We have created a one-page Furlough Facts document that includes key information on a single easy-to-read page.

Equipment

What is the ESD's position on sending specialized equipment home to families?

If a student requires assistive devices to access distance learning at home, HDESD staff members must follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting items (including soft porous surfaces, hard surfaces and electronics) in preparing equipment for pick up by or delivery to a student. Families should be notified that HDESD staff are following CDC guidelines to prepare equipment, but that we are not able to guarantee that all equipment will be 100% virus-free. As an additional precaution, families should be advised to review and implement the CDC guidelines for disinfecting and cleaning in the home environment, and provided with the link or a printed copy of those guidelines. For equipment pick up or delivery to a family, all recommended social distancing and other safety measures should be employed. Finally, every effort should be made to ensure the equipment is received by the student or his/her family. This means if you drop equipment off at a doorstep, you should wait in your car to personally observe it is retrieved.

We understand some providers are concerned that checking equipment out to students for use in their homes is inconsistent with licensure requirements, particularly where there is a need to train, supervise and/or monitor the use of the equipment. While we encourage providers to check with their own licensing boards/agencies for specific guidance in light of the distance learning mandate, no provider is expected to engage in activity that may compromise his or her licensure. These considerations should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and all cases should be well documented. 

Facilities

What are the procedures we need to follow to ensure safety while in our buildings?

We are committed to following Governor Brown’s executive order to Stay home–Save Lives. 

While we are open for business, our buildings are closed. In certain cases, and if it is required to provide essential services, you can seek permission from your supervisor to schedule a time to go into your building. Mandatory social distancing is required.

The CDC and  Central Oregon Public Health Officials are advocating that all residents begin wearing a cloth mask to cover their mouths and nose in public in addition to physical distancing measures.

  • U.S. Surgeon General’s no-sew face covering: YouTube Video
  • St. Charles Mask Sewing Instructions: PDF

We have custodians cleaning our buildings more frequently, but in rare cases when you need to come in, we ask that you wash your hands when you arrive and before you leave, wipe down surfaces you have touched (desks, door handles, light switches, etc.) and continue to maintain physical distancing from others.

Furlough

For Part Time employees, how many hours will a furlough day be? The number of hours scheduled on our work calendar or the hours listed on our Assignment Notification? I work 4 eight hour days a week, but technically one day for me is 6.4 hours

If you are part-time (between .5 and .99) you will be furloughed for the entire 8 hours of the assigned day regardless of how many hours you were scheduled to work on that day. If you were assigned less than 8 hours that day, you will work with your supervisor to adjust your hours for the rest of the week. Please connect with your supervisor right away if that is true for you.

Work Share eligibility for Part Time employees states must have worked for 12 months. Is this consecutive months and if so, how will summer break affect this eligibility piece? It has adversely affected things like FMLA qualification and wondering if this has been researched yet. If it would disqualify long term Part Time employees, then would they not be furloughed and would this still be the savings hoped for?

Summer break will not impact Work Share eligibility for part time employees. The 12 month eligibility window starts on the initial hire date. All employees that don’t meet the 12 month criteria will not be furloughed. Ineligible employees were not factored into our daily savings.

I have another job (not with the HDESD) and I plan to pick up extra shifts on the days I am furloughed. Will this affect the unemployment benefit I receive as a result of this furlough?

We believe that this will impact your unemployment benefit. The HDESD will be required to report weekly on any additional wages/incomes for individual employees. It is our understanding that this data will be used to determine the weekly unemployment amount.

I am a PT Classified employee and receive vacation pay. The days are from summer non calendar work days. I currently do not work on Fridays. Can I use a Vacation day each week on Friday as my Furlough day? I have a lot of work and trying to fit it all in.

This is an organization -wide furlough. The specific furlough days are predetermined  and cannot be individually determined by employees. 

You can choose not to use vacation days on June 5th and 12th and your supervisor can then assign those days as furlough days.  If possible, you would then work with your supervisor to find another time to use the vacation days this year.  There is no question that furlough days make fitting in all of our work harder.

Staff who started in August are or are not considered being with us the full year?

The 12 month eligibility starts on the initial hire date.

I retired last year and am working back, but receiving PERS benefits this year. Am I ineligible for this furlough? If so, should I work my regular schedule?

If you are currently receiving PERS benefits you are ineligible for this furlough. Please work your regular scheduled hours through the furlough days.

I understand that we're going to be furloughed. However, what do we do if a school district schedules a transition meeting for a student going to Kindergarten on a day we're not suppose to work and we should legally give feedback on a student and be part of the transition team?

While we are doing our best to mitigate the impact of this decision on our services to kids, we know that you may already have things planned during the scheduled furlough  days. Unfortunately, you will not be able to attend meetings, take calls or respond to emails , during a  furlough day. This   will challenge relationships, productivity and patience.  We know this won’t be easy. 

Your supervisor will work with you to ensure that someone on your team from a different furlough group is assigned to attend the meeting on your behalf to support your students, families and district partners. 

Will we be eligible for and need to file a separate application to access the $600 a week UI claim from federal funds allocated via the CARES Act

You will not need to file a second application to access the additional $600/week. If you are eligible for unemployment, the $600 per week will be automatically included in your Unemployment benefit.

Health & Safety

How will we clean and disinfect the high volume of returned equipment loaned out to students and maintain a safe work environment for HDESD staff?

Staff safety and well being continues to be our priority. Our plan is to develop a system that integrates with the district’s system and closely aligns with the protocols we have previously established for equipment return.   HDESD staff members will be advised to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting items (including soft porous surfaces, hard surfaces and electronics) in preparing equipment for pick up by or delivery to a student.

I am concerned about being called to emergency childcare as my husband has preexisting health conditions.

We are following Governor Brown’s guidance that, “employees in at-risk categories, or who have an at-risk member of their household, should not be required to physically report to a worksite.”

If you consider yourself or a member of your household to be “at risk,” please contact our Director of HR, Jayel Hayden to confidently disclose your concern.

Is there a process for disclosing staff's underlying health conditions that might put them at risk for complications from the coronavirus (in the event that we are asked to perform public-facing jobs)?

We are following Governor Brown’s guidance that, “employees in at-risk categories or who have an at-risk member of their household should not be required to physically report to a worksite.”

If you consider yourself or a member of your household to be “at risk,” please contact our Director of HR, Jayel Hayden to confidently disclose your concern.

I'm very concerned about being able to stay quarantined until it is very safe to start having contact with others again.

We are committed to following Governor Brown’s executive order to Stay Home–Save Lives.

Additionally, we are following Governor Brown’s guidance that, “employees in at-risk categories or who have an at-risk member of their household should not be required to physically report to a worksite.”

If you consider yourself or a member of your household to be “at risk,” please contact our Director of HR, Jayel Hayden to confidently disclose your concern.

Will the staff who are tapped to provide childcare for the children of first responders and medical personnel have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety protocols?

If called upon to provide emergency childcare for healthcare and essential-services employees, HDESD will follow the Early Learning Division’s protective guidelines to ensure the health and safety of staff and children in care. These guidelines include providing necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).

While school districts and ESDs have been ordered to stand ready to support our community in this way, we are still learning about the specifics of the local need and timing of that need.

My concerns are keeping staff safe and keeping children and families safe. School districts and ESDs are being asked to potentially care for children who have parents working in essential jobs, which likely means their exposure is high.

These are unprecedented times, calling for innovation and adaptability as we work to keep our children and ourselves safe.

If called upon to provide emergency childcare for healthcare and essential-services employees, HDESD will follow the Early Learning Division’s protective guidelines to ensure the health and safety of staff and children in care. These guidelines include providing necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and following safety protocols.

Operations

Is the SSA funding stable for next year?

The initial funding for SSA was based on an estimate of how much the State thought the Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) would generate. At the state revenue forecast in May, it was projected that the CAT would bring in $1.2 Billion rather than the $1.6 Billion that was originally budgeted.  That will impact many of the programs being paid for out of the CAT, but it’s much better than initial concerns about how bad the economy would impact the SSA.

What if I have a young child at home and no family around to care for them in my absence and am called in to provide childcare?
We understand the juggle that many of our staff are experiencing right now. The first step would be to reach out to your supervisor and  discuss your situation. We are committed to being as flexible as possible, while fulfilling the requirements of Governor Brown’s executive order to stand ready to provide childcare if needed. 

If you are facing unique circumstances,  there are specific federal leave protections in place to support you. Your  supervisor and our HR Director Jayel Hayden are available to help you navigate these protections. 

Considering we will now not be returning back to school for this school year, will we still lose unused PTO from this school year or is there a way we can use it in the upcoming school year?
During this time, our goal is to follow a “business as usual” whenever possible. That means existing practice, statute and collective bargaining agreements are still in place. This means that sick leave carries over from year to year, but personal leave does not. 

Professional Development

Can we receive PDU's when participating in Webinars? What is the process for doing this?

Yes, PDUs can be awarded for professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students occurs within learning.

The provider of the training can complete a certificate of completion for the participant indicating the number of PDUs (hours) earned. Please contact Jayel Hayden with your specific questions regarding PDUs.

Supporting Families

I am working with a family who is struggling to pay their rent and worried about losing their housing. How can I connect them with resources and support? Additionally, my neighbor is struggling with unmet basic needs, but has no children. Can FAN help him? Or is there another local resource I should refer him to?

Our Family Access Network (FAN) program offers assistance, support and hope to Central Oregon families in need by connecting them with crucial resources. FAN is unique to Central Oregon and FAN advocates are assigned to all public schools in Deschutes and Crook Counties. Here is a list of contact information for each Advocate in each Central Oregon community.  

For community members, without children under 18,  who have unmet basic needs, please refer them to Thrive Central Oregon

I know that families are served by multiple programs and providers? How should we best coordinate?

Please communicate with your supervisor when you know that a family/student is served by more than just you within the ESD.  Work with your supervisor to develop a communication plan with the other providers so that families receive more coordinated communication.

How will we support families with limited literacy skills?

As always, we will do our very best to meet families where they are socially, emotionally, physically, cognitively, culturally and linguistically.

We will use a variety of communication strategies to ensure that connection is maintained. Including, but not limited to. phone, video and image-based communication.

How are we going to check in on children to make sure they are OK? For some, school is their safe space.

While this is an unsettling and disorienting time for all, this is particularly true for our most vulnerable children and families. 

As before, our job will be to do our very best to meet families where they are and provide connection, support and resources as best we can within the current restrictions. Staff who usually work directly with students and families will be connecting with those students and families remotely. This will be a collective and imperfect effort.

I am concerned about bilingual students’ access to the internet and devices, especially families living in Jefferson County and in our other rural communities.

We will be doing everything in our power to get the families we serve the devices and internet access they need during this time. We know that many, but not all families have this access.

As you learn about specific technology needs that families have, please share the details with your supervisor and together with the tech team and interpretive services we will reach the best possible solution.

Teaching & Learning

How can we serve preschoolers?

Initially, we will connect with the families via phone and video to learn where they are and how we can provide the most appropriate support at this time. When ready, we will design creative ways to enhance our coaching, teaching and learning under current constraints.

Can I return to my classroom to record videos for families in my classroom and do everything else from home?

We are committed to following Governor Brown’s executive order to Stay Home–Save Lives.

While we are open for business, our buildings are closed. In certain cases, and if it is required to provide essential services, you can seek permission from your supervisor to schedule a time to go into your building. Mandatory social distancing is required while there.

Technology

What are the best practices for interacting with students and families via live video?

Our IT and legal departments have been working to provide comprehensive guidance on how we can safely and effectively engage with students and families via live video. Please review these documents:

Criteria & Process for meeting with students and families via live video

What to do with the live video recordings

 

I am concerned that I may exceed my current data plan and incur additional costs. Will the HDESD pay for overages and additional fees?

While not all staff are or could be served by BendBroadband or CenturyLink, we have learned that both of these companies have temporarily stopped disconnections, will waive late fees, and are not charging data cap overages for the next 60 days.

80-90% of our staff are covered at home with high speed internet, so we are designing solutions case-by-case, as we are made aware of staff technology needs.

Please reach out to our tech team using the live-chat feature in the bottom right corner of this page.

What technology support will we be lending to families with limited or no access to the internet or devices?

We will be doing everything in our power to get families the devices and access they need during this time. We know that many, but not all families have this access.

As you learn about specific technology needs that families have, please share the details with your supervisor and together with the tech team, we will reach the best possible solution.

Could we all have access to DocuSign software and training?

As it becomes clear which new tools are needed for us to be as efficient, excellent and equitable as possible, we are committed to making what is needed available.

If we are asked to speak with a family/student directly, is it appropriate to use our personal cell phone if it's the only line at home?

Connecting with families, students and each other is going to be a central task of the coming weeks and likely months. Please work with your supervisor to secure the tools you need to be successful in this work.

You may use your personal cell phones to connect with families. If you would prefer to “mask” your number so that those you are calling cannot identify your number, please reach out to our tech team using the live-chat feature in the bottom right corner of this page.

I am concerned about bilingual students’ access to the internet and devices, especially families living in Jefferson County and in our other rural communities.

We will be doing everything in our power to get the families we serve the devices and internet access they need during this time. We know that many, but not all families have this access.

As you learn about specific technology needs that families have, please share the details with your supervisor and together with the tech team and interpretive services we will reach the best possible solution.

I will be connecting with families and students on my personal cell phone. What is the best way to mask my phone number?

You may use your personal cell phones to connect with families. If you would prefer to “mask” your number so that those you are calling cannot identify your number, please reach out to our tech team using the live-chat feature in the bottom right corner of this page.