The Klamath County School District Board of Directors sent a third resolution to Gov. Kate Brown this week, urging the state to change COVID-19 requirements to recommendations and allow the district to work directly with Klamath County Public Health to determine appropriate mitigation strategies for its schools.
The board unanimously approved the resolution, which is similar to two other resolutions approved and sent to the state in August and September. It reiterates the need for local decision-making so the district can best educate students in its 21 geographically and culturally diverse schools. Read the full resolution here:
“This resolution is not a request for or against masks, vaccinations, testing, or school closures,” said KCSD Board Chair John Rademacher. “It is a request to allow us to best serve our students and staff by applying appropriate measures to deal with specific school situations.”
Board member Steve Lowell said he is concerned that with the current omicron surge the state will increase requirements, basing the ability to continue in-person instruction on the number of positive cases in the county like it did last year.
“Local control will allow KCSD and the county health department to set our parameters and keep our students learning in school buildings,” he said.
A letter to the governor, dated Jan. 24 and signed by the board and KCSD Superintendent Glen Szymoniak, states in part: “It is critical to note that the Klamath County School District Board members feel strongly that they need to advocate for their community and feel disenfranchised from the current process of governing education in their community. While some school districts may have had input into the decision making process, our Board has not been involved. It would be a great move forward if the governor’s office could begin a dialogue with the Klamath County Board of Directors about how best to serve our students.” Read the full letter here:
The district’s focus is keeping schools open to in-person learning as much as possible while prioritizing the safety of staff and students.