Jeannie Ray-Timoney, Catholic schools superintendent
Jeannie Ray-Timoney, Catholic schools superintendent
The Archdiocese of Portland’s Department of Catholic Schools has decided to extend the closure of all archdiocesan schools through April 28. This comes after Gov. Kate Brown ordered the state’s public schools to close for the next six weeks. Both public and archdiocesan schools originally had planned to reopen next month.

As of March 18, 39 states were closing public schools.

“I do not take the decision to extend school closures lightly,” said Brown. “This will have real impacts on Oregon’s students, parents and educators. But we must act now to flatten the curve and slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon, otherwise we face a higher strain on our medical system and greater loss of life to this disease.”

The Department of Catholic Schools has been following updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Oregon Health Authority and the governor.

“We know that many families are facing hardships during this unusual time,” said Jeannie Ray-Timoney, Catholic schools superintendent, in a statement March 13, when she announced schools would be closed through this month. “It is affecting everyone in different ways. We pray that each of you will experience God’s grace to guide you through.”

Catholic schools in western Oregon have been using digital learning methods during the closure.