Klamath County School District Students Returning to Classrooms Full-Time, Five Days a Week!

Next week, for the first time in more than a year, most Klamath County School District students will begin returning to our classrooms full-time, five days a week.


Because of our diverse schools and scheduling needs, details are not the same districtwide. Please bear with us and read carefully.

Monday, April 5
Students at the following schools will start full-time, five-day a week schedules. All school start and end times remain the same as they are now.
• Bonanza Elementary
• Chiloquin Elementary
• Chiloquin Junior/Senior High
• Ferguson Elementary
• Gearhart Elementary
• Henley Elementary
• Keno Elementary
• Klamath County Transition Program
• Lost River Junior/Senior High
• Malin Elementary
• Merrill Elementary
• Peterson Elementary
• Shasta Elementary (including Special Programs)
• Stearns Elementary (including Special Programs)

Monday, April 12
Students at the following schools will start full-time, five-day a week schedules. All school start and end times remain the same as they are now.
• Bonanza Junior/Senior High
• Brixner Junior/Senior High (including Special Programs)
• Gilchrist Elementary
• Gilchrist Junior/Senior High
• Henley Middle
• Henley High

Exceptions:
• Mazama High School: All students will continue on their current hybrid schedules, including students in Special Programs. Starting the week of April 12, all 9th- and 10th-graders will add a full-day of in-person instruction on Fridays; 11th and 12th graders will continue with asynchronous learning on Fridays. The reason: To maximize safety and educational options for students, Mazama created two master schedules that cannot be changed mid-semester without impacting credits and course completion. Keeping the current hybrid schedule and adding a day for freshmen and sophomores has been determined the best move for students academically.
• Falcon Heights: Students will remain on their current AM/PM schedules but will begin attending five days a week starting the week of Monday, April 12.

Please note: Our online and homeschool options will remain available for families.

Why full-time, why now?
The district is able to return to full-time learning because the Oregon Department of Education last week changed its space-per-student in the classroom requirements from 6 feet to 3 feet, matching new CDC guidance for schools. This allows us to bring more students into our classrooms. However, the new guidance still requires schools to follow the 6-foot spacing rule while students are eating, doing physical activities, and during band and choir classes.

We are not making this move lightly. CDC data indicates that the virus has not been spreading in schools even with a 3-foot space-per-student distance in classrooms. Many of our students are struggling with distance learning, and earlier this year, we told parents we would work to bring as many students as possible, as soon as possible, into our classrooms while following all state and public health requirements.

Many of our schools have already been open four days a week, and Klamath County Public Health has not linked any district cases to a school exposure. Teaming with public health to quickly quarantine cohorts has been working. To continue this trend, we need your commitment.

COVID-19 is still here, and it is paramount everyone is diligent with safety protocols – wearing masks, washing hands, and staying home when ill — so we keep our community healthy. To remain open full-time, we are counting on families to keep their children home when they are sick or when they have been directly exposed to the virus. Link to “Too Ill for School.”

Will schools have to close if county case counts keep increasing?
Not necessarily. For the district to begin full-time models, county metrics needed to be less than 200 per 100,000 population. At this time, our metrics meet that requirement, allowing us to fully open the weeks of April 5 and April 12. New metrics will be determined April 16. However, since our students will already be back full-time, an increase in metrics will not impact our in-person instruction models unless we have spread within our schools. The district will continue to work closely with and follow recommendations from Klamath County Public Health.

What you need to know:
• Food service and meals
o Breakfast: Some schools will send grab-and-go breakfasts home at the end of each day for students to eat before coming to school the next day. These schools would otherwise need to serve breakfast in shifts to accommodate the 6-foot distance while eating requirement, causing a late start to the instruction day.
o Lunch: Students must maintain 6-feet of physical distance while eating. To accommodate this, some schools may provide grab-and-go lunches so students are able to eat in various locations on campus.
o Grab-and-Go Meals: KCSD Online and Great Basin Homeschool students may continue to pickup meals from specific school sites. See the link for details: Grab-and-Go Meals.
• Transportation and busing
o Riding the bus: If you are currently transporting your student to school, please continue to do so if possible. Our ability to transport students by bus on a full-time schedule is based on the number of students currently using bus transportation. There are limited spaces on some routes. If you need to change your transportation plan, please contact the KCSD Transportation Department at 541- 883-5013.
o Routes: Some schools will need to make changes to their bus routes. Updated route information is on our website. Click here for a direct link: Bus routes.
• Cohorts and quarantining
o Quarantining and cohorts: Cohort sizes (stable groups of students) will increase with the return to full-time learning. It is important the district maintains student confidentiality. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, full classes may need to quarantine to maintain that confidentiality, depending on the wishes of the family. If your student is part of a quarantined cohort, you will be contacted directly by a school nurse or staff member. The district maintains lists of active quarantined cohorts on its website.
o Isolation rooms: Each school has an isolation room for people who have COVID-19 symptoms. Parents will be called and asked to arrange pick up for an ill student.
o Testing: Schools will be receiving rapid COVID-19 tests. Students who have symptoms may be tested by a trained staff member only if a parent has signed an authorization form. If you have not yet signed and want to sign the form, please contact your school.
To our families, thank you for staying the course this year and supporting your students and their teachers. We could not do it without you. Let’s work together to keep our doors open and finish the school year strong!
Respectfully,
Glen Szymoniak
Superintendent
Klamath County School District

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