KCSD & Me: An update for families

The latest state guidance; update on reopening plans

En español: https://www.smore.com/xjhrg


July 30, 2020


Dear KCSD families,


The Oregon Department of Education has announced new requirements that will determine when we can safely reopen our doors to students. These new health metrics require the number of active COVID-19 cases across the state and in individual counties to remain below a certain number before districts can offer in-person instruction.


Klamath County School District’s current reopening plans include three options.*

A. In School/Hybrid Plan: Students are in the classroom with their teacher two days a week. Three days a week they participate in high-quality distance learning. In this plan, students would return to school full-time as soon as possible within the state’s requirements.


B. KCSD Online: This model is a 100% online program where students complete all coursework at home under the direction of KCSD teachers.


C. Great Basin Homeschool Center: The district’s Great Basin Homeschool Center provides a traditional homeschool experience for K-6 and a virtual, online program with certified teachers for 7-12.


*For additional details about each of these programs see “KCSD Back to School Plans” below.


As of today, based on current state and county COVID-19 numbers, Klamath County School District may not be able to reopen school buildings as planned to students on Aug. 31. We hope this will not be the case. If it is, we will open virtually with plans to transition into the in-school/hybrid learning model as soon as possible. A decision will be made by Aug. 17.


In order for a school district to begin any form of in-person learning, the county must have 10 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents per week for three weeks. In addition, the countywide AND state test-positivity rate must be 5% or less per week for three weeks.


Currently, the state metric has not been met, although Oregon is trending in the right direction.


For Klamath County, we are currently meeting the “test positivity” requirement. This is great news. However, we are currently not meeting the “case rate” requirement. For Klamath County, which has a population of around 68,000, we need to have 7 cases or less per week for three weeks.


The state is using 10 per 100,000 population and that is how the metrics will be published. Using the state scale, Klamath County was at 44 for the week starting July 19. The week prior, starting July 12, Klamath County was at 19. This also is above the requirement and, as you can see, the trend is in the wrong direction. If these metrics do not change over the next month, we will not be allowed to return to in-person schooling on Aug. 31.


To help our students return to school, please:

· Adhere to social distancing guidelines.

· Wear a mask or face covering when in public.

· Keep gatherings small.

· Wash or sanitize hands regularly.

· Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms.


We are ready to support our students and parents as the education landscape changes. Our commitment remains to our students, their learning and their futures. Together, we will beat COVID-19 and get our students back in school.


Sincerely,

Glen Szymoniak

Superintendent, Klamath County School District

BACK TO SCHOOL PLANS

The district currently has three options for families this fall. (For the latest information on fall sports and activities, go to the OSAA website at http://www.osaa.org/coronavirus.)


NOTE: All students enrolled in the Klamath County School District have access to FREE nutritional and special services, and extracurricular activities in our KCSD schools. This year, ALL students will receive free meals, and the district will continue its grab-and-go meal delivery program on days students are not in class. The district also will provide services for students on IEPs, those with 504 plans, TAG students, migrant students, and English Learners.


A. In School/Hybrid: This is our current plan to reopen schools. Students are in the classroom with their teacher two days a week. Three days a week they participate in high-quality distance learning. Students are divided into two groups. One group is in the classroom Monday-Tuesday; the second on Wednesday-Thursday. Students would return to school full-time as soon as possible within the state’s requirements.


If our schools cannot reopen because of new health metric requirements, these students would transition to distance, virtual learning at home led by their classroom teachers. This virtual program will be significantly different – and better – than last spring. The district has invested in Schoology, a learning management system that streamlines lessons and assignments. It is basically a single portal for students (and parents) that offers one place for lessons, assignments, announcements, grades, etc. It includes an app that allows parents and students to access announcements and other information from the site on their mobile devices. Training in Schoology will be provided to both students and parents.


B. KCSD Online: This is a 100% online program where students complete all coursework at home under the direction of KCSD teachers.. Students would commit to this program for a grading period. They will receive support from Klamath County School District teachers as they work through the curriculum, but the lessons are not prepared by our teachers. Students in KCSD Online model remain members of their school community. Any student who wants to enroll in KCSD Online will be asked to register so we can ensure we have all staff support in place to meet the needs of these learners. Details will be forthcoming.


NOTE: The district has invested in more Chromebooks so we will be able to provide a device to every student who needs one.


C. Great Basin Homeschool Center: Our virtual and homeschool students have access to nutritional and special services, and extracurricular activities in our KCSD schools. These students are enrolled in Great Basin as part of the Klamath County School District. This program provides parents with free high-quality academic curriculum options and access to highly qualified teachers. Our elementary program offers well-researched curriculum and academic support for homeschooling families, while our secondary program provides online course options through proven providers and learning platforms with certified teachers. To find out more about these options, please call Great Basin Homeschool at 541-883-6699.


TRANSFER STUDENTS: If your student is attending a KCSD school on an approved transfer from either Klamath Falls City Schools or between county schools, and you choose to enroll in KCSD Online or Great Basin Homeschool Center, the transfer will be honored for your student to return to their approved school during the 2020-21 school year.


If your intent is to remain enrolled in KCSD Online or Great Basin Homeschool Center for the entire 2020-21 school year, but you wish to return to your approved school for the 2021-22 school year, you must notify the KCSD transfer office at 541-851-8753; phelpsm@kcsd.k12.or.us by May 15, 2021.


QUESTIONS: For all other questions about options for your student, call Tia Powell at the District Office at 541-851-8740.


Read the July 8, 2020 KCSD & Me: Reopening Schools message

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that you want added to our FAQs, send KCSD Communications an email.

Ready Schools, Safe Learners: COVID-19 Metrics

The latest guidance from the Oregon Department of Education.

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