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Care & Connection

Ready Schools, Safe Learners: Guidance for the 2020-21 School Year  
Care, connection, and community are the heart of education. Each is essential for promoting health, safety, and well-being, and creating the conditions where students can learn, and staff can teach and nurture our youth. 

We encourage all of Oregon’s schools and districts to focus on fostering healthy, supportive relationships and communities, and creating welcoming spaces for everyone. This means recognizing that each person will have different needs, and honoring, valuing, and respecting each individual’s ways of knowing and being. 

Building care, connection and community takes time, but a wealth of research shows that it is a worthwhile investment in students’ futures. We ask school administrators to provide staff, educators and students with permission and ample time to build care, connection and community each day. This means taking the time and space to grow and sustain safe, inclusive, invitational spaces that allow each person to be where they are at any given moment, and offering creative opportunities for exploration.

If needed, the Oregon Department of Education also offers many resources for students, families and staff to help support mental and emotional health.

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B. Grace Bullock, Ph.D. - Senior Mental Health Officer, Office of the Director

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