Announcements & News

Title Release Date Image
District Recently Honored Area Veterans

Morrow County School District schools honored veterans in several ways for Veterans Day last week.

Heppner
On November 9, the staff and students of Heppner Jr/Sr High School honored veterans with a special program and lunch. The day started with veterans visiting classrooms to share their stories with staff and students who were eager to hear the first-hand experiences of men and women in uniform.

After classroom visits, all staff and students gathered with the guests in the gym where each veteran was given a gift. A program followed, featuring the HJSHS band and choir performing “Armed Forces on Parade” and “Already Home”. A video presentation followed with pictures of the veterans during their time in the military. Former HJSHS math teacher David Melville was the honored guest speaker. Captain Melville (Ret.) spoke about the sacrifices that veterans and their families have made, and he urged students to continue to support the veterans. Each veteran in attendance was then recognized in a roll call that included their name, rank, branch of service and dates of enlistment. This was followed by a moment of silence and “Taps” to recognize veterans who have passed away. After the program, a lunch was served by HJSHS students to the veterans and their families.

Irrigon
Irrigon Jr/Sr High School hosted its annual Veterans Day Assembly in the gym with all of 9th-12th grade students in attendance. The school invited all local veterans to attend and be honored during the assembly and for refreshments afterward. Local Boy Scout Troop #602 color guard presented the colors and the Irrigon High Pep Band played the national anthem to kick off the event. Irrigon Jr/Sr High School teacher Mr. Johnson, currently serving in the National Guard, spoke about his service and why he chooses to continue serving. Irrigon students who have already enlisted or plan on enlisting in the military were asked to stand and be recognized. This was followed by student presentations in honor of Veterans Day, including songs, poems and essays. Clara Sexton-Funk performed a song, Jocelyn Dyer presented her own essay, while Liz Perez, Liz Nunez and Alex Walls all presented pieces that were written by other students from Irrigon Jr/Sr High School.

At A.C. Houghton Elementary, the Lions Club visited and gave a presentation to all 1st grade students about Veterans Day. At the conclusion of the presentation, each student received their own U.S. flags.

Boardman
Sam Boardman Elementary’s annual Veterans Day Concert occurred on November 9th .  The school’s brand new music teacher, Heather Noble, did a wonderful job preparing students to perform patriotic songs in tribute to all veterans who have served and continue to serve for our country. The  guest speaker was Andrew Kimmell, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army. Second and third grade students presented the history of Veterans Day, the Pledge of Allegiance and “thank you” cards to our veterans. School staff would like to give a special thanks to the Boardman Police Explorers who provided the color guard. The Veterans Day Assembly is a wonderful occasion for students and staff to express our gratitude for those who have made such enormous sacrifices, and we are glad for the opportunity each year.

group photo of veterans in gym in Heppner
New 3-Hour Delays for Inclement Weather this Winter

With winter quickly approaching we would like to share our inclement weather plan with you.  Our goal is to provide the safest possible learning opportunities for our students and staff.  Throughout the winter the district administration closely monitors weather and road conditions in our district and strives to inform families of changes in a timely manner.  Typically, we try to notify family’s the night before of a late start or closure, but there are times when the weather changes overnight and requires an early morning change in school plans. 

This year Morrow County School District will be implementing a 3-hour delay for bad weather.  With this later start on inclement weather days it will allow us more time to evaluate the weather and road conditions before students and staff are traveling for school. Buses will run their normal routes, only 3 hours later.  On late start days’ schools will still have breakfast and lunch available to students. 
You can keep informed of school closures a variety of ways:

  • School Messenger
  • District and school websites
  • District and school Facebook pages
  • Local news and radio stations

Con el invierno acercándose rápidamente, nos gustaría compartir nuestro plan de clima inclemente con usted. Nuestro objetivo es proporcionar las oportunidades de aprendizaje más seguras posibles para nuestros estudiantes y personal. Durante todo el invierno, la administración del distrito supervisa de cerca el clima y las condiciones de las carreteras en nuestro distrito, y se esfuerza por informar a las familias de los cambios de manera oportuna. Por lo general, tratamos de notificar a las familias la noche antes de un comienzo o cierre tardío, pero a veces cambia el clima de la noche a la mañana y se requiere un cambio en los planes escolares temprano en la mañana. Este año, el Distrito Escolar del Condado de Morrow, implementará un retraso de 3 horas por el mal tiempo. Con este lapso de tiempo en los días del clima inclementes, nos permitirá tener más tiempo para evaluar el clima y las condiciones de las carreteras antes de que los estudiantes y el personal escolar viajen a la escuela. Los camiones escolares operarán sus rutas normales solo con 3 horas después.

En los días en que iniciemos tarde las clases en las escuelas, las cocinas escolares todavía tendrán/ proveerán el desayuno y el almuerzo a disposición de los estudiantes.

Ustedes pueden mantenerse informados por lo cierres escolares de varias maneras:

  • Mensajero de la escuela
  • Los sitios de las redes del Internet del distrito o escuelas
  • En las páginas de Facebook del distrito y escuelas
  • Noticias y estaciones de radio locales
Photo: Trees in Freezing Fog
Pacific Ethanol Makes Donations to MCSD Schools

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (Columbia Plant) in Boardman recently donated $50 each to three Morrow County School District schools:  Sam Boardman Elementary, Windy River Elementary and Riverside Jr/Sr High. Pacific Ethanol organized a company-wide “Community Day Challenge” and the Boardman plant was the winner and was awarded $250.

Daniel Koch, plant manager, said, “To support our ever growing community we would like to offer this money to different organizations, groups and schools. We hope our contribution to our community will help in some small way.”

Two other Boardman organizations also received donations.

image: thank you sign
Boardman Schools Collaborated for Community Event

On September 12, schools in the Boardman community hosted the 7th Annual Boardman Community Resource Extravaganza at Sam Boardman Elementary. The event is an opportunity for various organizations and businesses to share with families the support and help available within the Boardman community.

An estimated 300 to 400 people attended the event, including many families from all three schools: Sam Boardman Elementary, Windy River Elementary and Riverside Junior/Senior High School. In previous years, the Extravaganza was held only at Windy River Elementary, but the district wanted to expand to include more families.

The community was well represented with over 20 local organizations including banks, the police department, the Port of Morrow Workforce Center and the new Boardman Recreation Center. Many local service organizations, ranging from the Department of Human Services to Morrow County School District’s Care Team to OSU Extension and 4-H, also attended and provided information, prizes and games for families.

Brandon Hammond, principal of Windy River Elementary, said, “This is an excellent event for our community and allows our families to see all the various entities available to support them and their child.” Hammond said the school district appreciates the organizations that made time to attend the event and provide information. He also said staff at Boardman schools are excited to collaborate with the community and look forward to the event next year and for many years to come.

List of 2017 Participating Organizations can be found here.

photo: people at booth
Morrow County School District Board Vacancy

The Morrow County School Board of Directors currently has a vacancy for position #2. Persons interested in applying to serve on the Morrow County School District Board of Directors must be a legally registered voter and reside within Morrow County. Please submit a letter of interest by 5:00 PM October 3, 2017 to Dirk Dirksen, PO Box 100, Heppner, OR 97836. Contact Executive Secretary, Cheryl Costello, 541-922-4016 or cheryl.costelloatmorrow.k12.or.us if you have any questions. This position will run through June 30, 2019.

photo: desk and empty office chair
Notice of Special Board Meeting

Morrow County School District Board of Directors has called a special Board meeting for Monday, August 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm at Heppner Elementary School in Heppner, OR.

The purpose of the meeting is to consider an OSAA Cooperative Sponsorship between Ione and Riverside Jr/Sr High School for football.

Image: Football on a field
Eclipse Viewing in Morrow County

On Monday, August 21, the continental United States will experience a solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, totally or partially blocking the view of the Sun. An eclipse's area of totality means that people viewing the eclipse in that geographic location will be able to experience the entire eclipse, while people outside that area can view a partial eclipse. The path of the total eclipse includes the southern portion of Morrow County, but even viewing the partial eclipse is an exciting scientific event for students and families to experience.

You need a way to safely view the eclipse! People should never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, as this can result in serious eye injury. Eclipse glasses that are ISO 12312-2 compliant are needed to safely view the eclipse. They can be purchased at some stores or online.

The SAGE Center in Boardman is LIVE streaming the Total Solar Eclipse. In Heppner, there will be transportation available to Morrow-Grant OHV Park.

Information from NASA about the 2017 Eclipse is available on these PDFs:  English Spanish

Here are some helpful links to eclipse-related websites:

NASA:  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

Sage Center: http://visitsage.com/event/180

Morrow County/Heppner Transportation:  http://www.co.morrow.or.us/community/page/solar-eclipse-august-21-2017

Oregon Trail Libraries: https://www.facebook.com/OTLDlibraries/

 

 

photo: eclipse with sun's corona
Board Schedules Work Session to Develop Goals


The MCSD Board of Directors has called a dinner/work session for Monday, August 14, 2017 at 5:30 PM at Riverside Jr/Sr High School in Boardman, OR.

The purpose of the work session is development of 2017/18 Board Goals.

Notice of Special Board Meeting - Location Change

UPDATE 6/22/17 - The location of this meeting has CHANGED, it will be held in Heppner High School Library due to work that is taking place in the HES library.

Morrow County School District Board of Directors has called a Special Board Meeting for Monday, June 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm. The purpose of the meeting is ratification of contracts.

photo: empty conference room, table and chairs
Morrow County Announces “Ready for Kindergarten” Preschool Program

Morrow County School District is offering high quality preschool opportunities to equip all three & four-year-old Morrow County residents with the skills and resources necessary to ensure kindergarten readiness. Print Flyer (PDF)

The goal is to provide all three and four-year-old children in Heppner, Irrigon and Boardman with the opportunity to receive a preschool education.

Children in Irrigon and Boardman will be taught in four classes with up to 20 children in each class. Sessions will take place 4 days per week, 3 hours per day from approximately September 5, 2017 through May 17, 2018.  There will be an AM session and a PM session at each location.

Locations

No. of classrooms Location Time Details
Two Classrooms A.C. Houghton Elementary 8 am to 11:00 AM and 12:30-3:30 Classes will take place Monday through Thursday (following Morrow County SD school year schedule).
Two Classrooms Boardman Early Learning Center (next to SAGE Center) 8 am to 11:00 AM and 12:45-3:45 Classes will take place Monday through Thursday (following Morrow County SD school year schedule).
TBD Heppner Day Care   MCSD is also working with Heppner Day Care to provide Preschool availability for all four year olds in Heppner.  Please call Merry Chandler at (541) 676-5429

To register:

Online: English | Spanish (external link)

Please call Umatilla-Morrow Head Start at 1-800-559- 5878, Laura Celis at 541-564-6878 or Ana Pineyro at 541-256-0514 to learn more or to register your child.

Image: Illustration, kids reading
Schedule an Adolescent Well Care Exam With Your Local Medical Clinic!

¡Programe un Examen de Adolescente de Bien Cuidado con su Clínica Médica Local! *Haga clic aquí para descargar este anuncio en español (PDF)
______________________________________________________________________________________

Morrow County and Ione School Districts strongly encourage you to schedule an adolescent well care exam appointment (which includes an evaluation for OSAA sport/activity participation) beginning June 1, and throughout the summer months to be prepared for the fall school year.

Morrow County Health District and Columbia River Community Health Services will be providing exams for youth ages 11-21 by appointment only. Print the Flyer (PDF)

  • Boardman Columbia River Community Health Services (541) 481-7212
  • Heppner Pioneer Memorial Clinic (541) 676-5504
  • Ione Community Clinic (541) 422-7128
  • Irrigon Medical Clinic (541) 922-5880

Why are wellness exams important? Physical, social and emotional changes during adolescence increase the need for continuous, comprehensive preventive services and adolescents are laying the foundation for lifestyle and behaviors that persist into adulthood.

The American Medical Association’s Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Bright Futures Guidelines, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend comprehensive annual check-ups for adolescents. Adolescents who can easily access preventive health services are more likely to be healthy and able to reach milestones such as high school graduation, entry into the work force, higher education or military service.

What can you expect during an exam? During an adolescent well care exam, the health care professional conducts a risk and strength assessment, listens to parent and youth concerns, conducts necessary screening and provides guidance on key health promotion priorities such as family support, healthy weight, nutrition and physical activity, mental health, healthy growth and development, safety and injury prevention, and oral health. The exam will include, if necessary, an evaluation for clearance to participate in sports/activities and completion of the required OSAA form.

Who provides the AWC exam? Morrow County health care providers care about you, your family and community. Make an appointment for an adolescent well care exam with your local Morrow County health clinic. If the patient has insurance, the insurance will be billed, and the balance, if any, will not be charged to the patient. There will be no out of pocket cost to you.

If you need assistance with transportation, please contact the CARE Team at 541-481-4200.

photo: doctor holding card that says "wellness"
District Re-Structures Administration for 2017-18 School Year

The Morrow County School District has re-structured its administrative team, allowing the district to continue to be proactive and efficient in providing the highest quality education for all its students, according to Dirk Dirksen, district Superintendent.

Erin Stocker has been promoted to Executive Director of Human Resources. She will continue to be the Principal at Irrigon Elementary School for the 2017-18 school year while assuming additional district-level responsibilities. Stocker has taught for 13 years in the district and been the Principal and the Director of Human Resources for four years. Kaira Rysdam will be the Vice Principal at Irrigon Elementary.

Marie Shimer has been hired as the Director of Educational Services. She has been the Principal at Riverside Jr/Sr High School since 2013; before that, she was the Assistant Principal there for two years.  Shimer has an extensive background in curriculum and staff development and has worked with special programs including TAG, ELL, DART, Eastern Promise and CTE. The district is posting a position for the RHS Principal vacancy.

Matt Combe will remain the Director of Facilities for the district. Currently the Principal at Heppner Elementary and Heppner Jr/Sr High School, Combe has been an administrator for 11 years in Heppner. Previously, he was the Alternative Education Coordinator for eight years and taught for three years. Combe will continue as the Principal of Heppner High, while Dieter Waite will become the Principal of Heppner Elementary School.

Jack Johns will become the district’s Director of Special Education, a change from his current position of Special Education Consultant. Johns has more than 20 years of experience as a Special Education Director and has been a Special Education consultant for nine years, including the last three in MCSD.

“We are pleased with the new structure of our district administrative team – all of these individuals will continue to be important assets in serving students in all three of our communities,” Dirksen said.

All changes will be effective July 1, 2017.

Photo: office desk and chair
Riverside Students Thanked by Oregon State Police Superintendent

On Monday, March 13, the students in the “Exploration of Law Enforcement” class at Riverside Jr/Sr High School received a special visit from Travis Hampton, Superintendent of the Oregon State Police. Hampton came to personally thank the high school students for the time and input they have given to the SafeOregon project, a new statewide safety tip line for all schools.

The 15 students in the class have been involved with SafeOregon for several months, offering feedback about the name of the tip line, the website colors and functions and how they think students can promote it in their schools.

“I want to commend you all for a job well done on a statewide effort. You have been engaged in something in your young lives that has already made a difference for students, and that’s great,” said Hampton. Oregon State Police is giving the students T-shirts and water bottles, plus a donation of $250 from the Oregon State Police Officers’ Association.

Dirk Dirksen, Morrow County School District Superintendent, was also in attendance and thanked the students. “On behalf of the school district, thank you for making an effort in our county to help SafeOregon become a reality. I also applaud Officer Shimer for taking the lead with this class,” Dirksen said. George Shimer is the Safety Resource Officer for MCSD’s schools in Boardman.

SafeOregon is available to all public K-12 schools in Oregon at no cost and is a way for students, staff or other members of the public to anonymously report and share confidential information of a threat or a potential threat to student safety. For more information, visit safeoregon.com.

photo: class group with supt. hampton
District Releases Plan to Make Up Snow Days

When the Morrow County School District established its 2016-17 school year calendar, administrators built in extra days to allow for potential snow days. Due to extreme inclement weather conditions this winter, schools in Boardman and Irrigon have been closed for 7 days and Heppner schools were closed for 5 days. To compensate for this lost instructional time for students, the MCSD will now be implementing the following adjustments to the 2016-17 calendar:

Boardman and Irrigon Schools:

  • Boardman and Irrigon schools will make up four of the missed student contact days due to inclement weather closures.
  • April 7, 14, 28, and May 12 are now designated as “Snow/Inclement Weather” make-up days for Boardman and Irrigon Schools.
  • In the event of another snow day; the dates listed above will not change.

Heppner Schools:

  • Heppner schools will make up three of the missed student contact days due to inclement weather closures.
  • April 7, 14, and 28 are now designated as “Snow/Inclement Weather” make-up days for Heppner Schools.
  • In the event of another snow day; the dates listed above will not change.

The state of Oregon has minimum seat time requirements of at least 900 hours; Grades K-8 need 900, Grades 9-11 need 990 and seniors need 966. The MCSD will be above the minimum seat requirements for all grade levels as set by the state of Oregon. 

Image: Snow being shoveled
Get Immunizations Updated Before School Exclusion Day February 15, 2017

Morrow County School District reminds families that School Exclusion Day is Wednesday, February 15. If a child’s record on file shows missing immunizations, he/she will not be able to attend school until immunizations are brought up-to-date. State law requires that all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations or the necessary paperwork exempting the requirement. If you need assistance with completing all necessary immunizations for your child please contact the Morrow County Health Department.

Morrow County Health Department Heppner Clinic: (541) 676-5421

Morrow County Health Department Boardman Clinic: (541) 481-4200

In an effort to increase accessibility to Immunizations, Morrow County Health Department is providing office hours in addition to the regular clinic hours for students to access vaccinations.  Any student can access any location.

Heppner: 110 N Court St,. Heppner, Or 97836

Boardman: 101 NW Boardman Ave., 97801

Immunization location, dates, and times
Location Date Times
Heppner Monday, February 13 1 PM to 5 PM
Boardman Monday, February 13 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
and 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Heppner Tuesday, February 14 8:30 AM to 12 Noon
Boardman Tuesday, February 14 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
and 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Heppner Wednesday, February 15 8:30 AM to 12 Noon
Boardman Wednesday, February 15 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Obtenga Las Vacunas Actualizadas antes del día de Exclusión Escolar 15 de febrero de 2017

El Distrito Escolar del Condado de Morrow, les recuerda a las familias que el Día de Exclusión Escolar  para las vacunas es el miércoles, 15 de febrero. Si el expediente de un niño en el archivo muestra vacunas faltantes, él / ella no podrá asistir a la escuela hasta que las vacunas sean actualizadas. La ley estatal requiere que todos los niños en las escuelas públicas,  privadas, preescolares, y centros de cuidado infantil certificados, tengan documentación  sobre sus vacunas o los papeles necesario de exclusión actualizadas. Si necesita ayuda para poner las vacunas faltantes de su hijo, comuníquese con el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Morrow.

Clinica del Departamento de Salud del Condado de Morrow - Heppner: (541) 676-5421

Clinica del Departamento de Salud del Condado de Morrow​ - Boardman: (541) 481-4200

En un esfuerzo por aumentar la accesibilidad a las inmunizaciones, el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Morrow está proporcionando horas de oficina además de las horas regulares de la clínica para que los estudiantes tengan acceso a las vacunas. Cualquier estudiante puede acceder a cualquier lugar.

Localizaciónes:

Immunization location, dates, and times
Location Date Times
Heppner lunes, February 13 1 PM to 5 PM
Boardman lunes, February 13 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
and 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Heppner martes, February 14 8:30 AM to 12 Noon
Boardman martes, February 14 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
and 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Heppner miércoles, February 15 8:30 AM to 12 Noon
Boardman miércoles, February 15 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Image: Boy receiving vaccination
Nominations for 2017 Crystal Apple Awards Now Open

Nominations for the 2017 Crystal Apple “Excellence in Education” Awards are now open. These awards recognize outstanding individuals in the education field who are dedicated to the success of students.

Those eligible are employees in any of the InterMountain Education Service District's (IMESD) 18 component school districts in Morrow, Umatilla and Union counties. Crystal Apple Awards can be given to principals, assistant principals, teachers, paraeducators, office staff, maintenance staff and other district staff.

Information and the nomination form are available here. Nominations are due April 1, 2017.

Nominations are also being accepted for the Doug Flatt Memorial Leadership Award, which recognizes one outstanding administrator (Superintendent, Principal, Vice Principal) each year.

Information and the nomination form for the Doug Flatt Memorial Leadership Award are available here. Nominations are due April 1, 2017.

More information on the Crystal Apple Awards program is available here.

 

Photo: Crystal Apple Awards
Science Curriculum Public Viewing

For all Families and Patrons of Morrow County School District:

Please view science curriculum and give us your input! Parents, guardians, and community stakeholders are invited to give us input.

Contact each school listed for viewing location: Books may be located in staff lounge, library or in the office. Please check in at the main office.

Science Curriculum Public Viewing Hours/Locations
Location Viewing Dates Time

K-12 Heppner Schools
Grades K-6 at Heppner Elementary
Grades 7-12 at Heppner Jr/Sr High

Feb 6-10 9:00-3:00
K-12 Boardman Schools
Grades K-3 at Sam Boardman Elementary
Grades 4-6 at Windy River Elementary
Grades 7-12 at Riverside Jr/Sr High
Feb 14-20 9:00-3:00
K-12 Irrigon Schools
Grades K-3 at A.C. Houghton Elementary
Grades 4-6 at Irrigon Elementary
Grades 7-12 at Irrigon Jr/Sr High
Feb 21-28 9:00-3:00
Image: Science
Morrow County Graduation Rate Higher than State Average

Students in the Morrow County School District are graduating at a higher rate than other students across the state of Oregon, according to graduation rates released today by the Oregon Department of Education.

The statewide cohort graduation rate for 2015-16 is 74.83%. Morrow County School District’s average is more than 10 percentage points above that figure at 85.14%. All three high schools in the county had higher rates than the state average. The graduation rates are:

Morrow County School District 85.14%
Heppner Jr.-Sr. High School 96.15%
Irrigon Jr.-Sr. High School 88.46%
Riverside Jr.-Sr. High School 82.09%

Figures are based on a 4-year cohort graduation rate, which includes all students who entered high school for the first time in 2012-2013 and earned their regular or modified high school diplomas by the end of August 2016 – essentially students who earned their diplomas within four years of high school.

Superintendent Dirk Dirksen said that he is pleased with the district’s results and continued improvement. “We have put some energy and focus into supporting students towards graduation. We have been monitoring attendance and student progress, communicating and supporting students so that they stay on track to graduate. I am pleased and thankful for the relationships, support and dedication our teachers, counselors, administrators and wraparound support staff have displayed towards our students. I am also very appreciative of our students and families as we have all partnered to communicate, stay engaged and support of one another to so that students in the Morrow County School District can graduate on time,” Dirksen said.

The Morrow County School District’s rates for specific student populations were also positive. The district average for Economically Disadvantaged Students was 85.85%, compared to the state rate of 68.05%; for Students with Disabilities the district rate was 87.50% while the state average was 55.50%; Limited English Proficient district average was 80% while the state average was 52.90%.

All three MCSD high schools exceeded the state average on most student categories:

  • For Hispanic/Latino students, the state average of 69.44% was surpassed by the district average of 87.18%. Riverside’s rate was 84.62% and Irrigon’s 95.83%, while Heppner’s average was 100%.
  • For Economically Disadvantaged students, the state average of 68.05% was surpassed by the district average of 85.85%. Riverside’s rate was 82.69%, Irrigon’s 89.74% and Heppner’s 100% .

More detailed information on the district’s graduation rates and rates for all school districts in Oregon can be found at:  http://www.oregon.gov/ode/reports-and-data/students/Pages/Cohort-Gradua….

Image: Graduation cap
MCSD Releases Results of Testing for Lead in Water

In June 2016, the Morrow County School District tested drinking water sites at all of its schools for the potential presence of lead. Results from Box R Water Analysis Laboratory in Prineville indicate that all sites tested showed “no lead detected” or were below the EPA limit of 0.020.

The Morrow County district joined school districts across eastern Oregon who are testing their drinking water this summer. Currently, there are no state or federal requirements for schools to test drinking water for lead, and it has not been a practice in the past. In mid May, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) created a plan regarding lead in school water. The plan requests all school districts that get drinking water from public water systems test for lead in school buildings; requires districts to use certified drinking water testing labs to process the water samples; asks ODE and OHA to develop a method for schools to report results to OHA; and for OHA to provide drinking water expertise to schools for support as they test.

Many schools receive their water from community or city water systems. These public water systems regularly test the water and many already treat the water to help reduce corrosion of plumbing. However, lead that is present in pipes and fixtures in building plumbing can enter the water at the tap and expose those who drink it --- that is why sampling and testing for lead at each tap is important.

The Morrow County School District is pleased to report that water at our schools is safe for drinking. We will continue to monitor this and will keep communicating to parents and our community,” said Dirk Dirksen, superintendent.

 

photo: water test tube on a report