KCSD & Me
June 2021 Newsletter
We made it! Summer is here!
In this newsletter
- Superintendent's message
- Upcoming Community Town Hall
- CARES funding and survey responses
- Grab-and-Go meals and summer programs
- Crystal Apple award winners (link to videos)
- Congrats to the Class of 2021 (check out our photo albums)
- State champs: Track and Henley Cheer Team
- Just for fun: Sign of friendship; new gate for Henley
We will keep you updated over the summer through social media, our website, and our KCSD & Me email list. If you do not already and want to receive this newsletter in your inbox, click on the Follow KCSD Communications button and subscribe.
From the Superintendent
June 10, 2021
Dear KCSD families,
We are down to the last day of school and I expect everyone will be happy to put this year behind us. It has been challenging and, at times, extremely difficult in both our school and personal lives.
As I look back at what we have all been through, I would like to thank you for your flexibility and your willingness to adapt, again and again, to the fluctuating rules that we all had to endure. You adjusted (sometimes overnight) to changing instructional models, going from distance learning, to hybrid, to in-person, and back again.
At the beginning of the school year I promised you that students would be in classrooms as much as possible. Thank you to families, students, and especially district staff for helping me keep that promise.
The plan for next fall is to operate school as normal. I expect to have all students back full-time, five days a week with no masks and no quarantines, unless the governor mandates otherwise.
I attended graduations this past weekend and watched with pride as seniors received their diplomas. They successfully completed this educational milestone during what had to be a most difficult year. Despite the pandemic, our schools, families, and communities appear stronger than ever. We faced challenges together and found ways to thrive.
Again, thank you. I am proud of our Klamath County School District team! Have a relaxing and rejuvenating summer.
Survey results and CARES funding
Thank you to the 1,189 people who took our recent survey and to the more than 50 people who helped us write our strategic plan in spring 2020. Your input has guided us in prioritizing our goals and spending. Follow the link for a message from Superintendent Glen Szymoniak about our plans for CARES Act funding: http://www.kcsd.k12.or.us/SectionIndex.asp?SectionID=16
Two of the questions on our recent survey asked specifically about CARES spending. Below are those questions and a summary of your responses. We'll publicize results of SIA (Student Investment Account) questions in an upcoming newsletter.
What should the district’s priorities be for one-time CARES Act funding?
- 64.34 % -- Upgrade, repair, and improve safety of school facilities
- 59.10 % -- Develop CTE exploratory courses and life skills curriculum in each junior high
- 50.18 % -- Develop a pre-apprenticeship program for high school students
- 48.35 % -- Provide adequate classroom space for future growth
- 32.17 % -- Training and professional development for staff
- 24.63 % -- Promote digital learning, incorporate technology to improve student success
What other items specific to COVID-19 impacts would you like the district to prioritize using CARES Act funds?
- 64.64 % -- Address learning loss among students
- 55.30 % -- Address unique needs of low-income children, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and students in foster care
- 51.04 % -- Provide summer learning and supplemental afterschool program and activities
- 41.16 % -- Purchase more educational technology, including hardware, software, and internet connectivity for students
- 13.96 % -- More training and professional development for staff to minimize spread of infectious disease.
Summer Grab-and-Go Meals!
Congratulations to the Class of 2021!
Nearly 400 seniors graduated this past weekend from Klamath County School District’s seven high schools and its homeschool program. We had 17 valedictorians and 11 salutatorians. Of seniors who responded to surveys about their future plans, 104 plan to attend a four-year college, 90 plan to attend a two-year community college, 67 are entering the workforce, 34 plan to enter a vocational/trade program, and 19 plan to join the military.
“This year’s seniors have persevered through educational, social, and personal challenges. The resiliency these graduates have demonstrated to successfully complete this milestone will serve them well in life.” -- Superintendent Glen Szymoniak
Check out all of our graduation ceremony photos by clicking on the school name or a photo (see photo gallery at the end of this newsletter).
The Klamath County School District each year awards Crystal Apples to nine employees who best exemplify our mission: “Inspiring today’s students to meet tomorrow’s challenges.” Talented videographer Ron Matchett produced videos introducing our KCSD community to these outstanding individuals. You can watch them all on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxsVf1dSqNlbAVyHZkjOtGIyQNdCe9u53.
Congratulations to Anna Hernandez, Dawn Alexander, Helena De Jong, Delana Heidrich, Jeannie Smith, Julie Grantom, Stacey Ramirez, Megan Parrish, and Steve Snyder!
State Champs: Henley cheer!
Congratulations to our Henley High Cheer Team! The Henley High School Cheer Team won the 4A State Championship in the nonbuilding competition, and also claimed first-place in the stunt group 1A-4A category.
The five-member team coached by Aubrey Westfall pushed through a postponed season, finally competing virtually with teams around the state on May 15. Team members are Tatiana Briones. Maya Rea, Sapphire Honeycutt, Kelsie Felsinger, and Lexi Dolan. For seniors Lexi and Kelsie, this is their second state championship.
A sign for friendship
Students at Shasta Elementary School can now communicate with their deaf and hard-of-hearing classmates on the playground – asking them to play, be their friend, or for help.
Dena Morosin’s fourth-grade class came up with an idea for a metal sign that displays how to say certain words in sign language. All elementary deaf and hard-of-hearing students attend Shasta, where they have access to interpreters and are mainstreamed into regular classes with their peers.
Teachers at Shasta often teach simple sign language throughout the year so students can communicate with each other. The new playground sign takes that one step further. “It was the students’ idea,” Morosin said. “They wanted to do a school project, and we talked about kids who may not feel included.”
Morosin’s class participates in the Classroom Champions program. At the beginning of the year, the class was assigned a mentor – two-time Paralympic gold medalist Deja Young – who talks virtually to students about character building skills and encourages them to do community service projects throughout the year.
Fourth-graders Ginny Guest and Eliza Jolly said the class decided they wanted to do something that would help them talk with their hard-of-hearing classmates. “If you wanted to be their friend, you didn’t really know how to tell to them,” Eliza said.
Shasta Principal Randy Rose, who helped install the 150-pound sign, was pleased with the project. “It educates kids on how to sign simple words so hard-of-hearing students can feel like they are part of our school,” he said.
Students came up for words to put on the sign -- play, friend, peace, love, and help. Each word has the sign language symbol above it. The sign was made by Alan Lopez and Ellie Huffman, students in Anna Aylett’s ag mechanic and leadership class at Bonanza Junior/Senior High School. Cost was about $150 for materials, which was paid for by Shasta Elementary School.
Students build new gate for Henley High
Henley CTE ag mechanic teacher Chris Aylett and his master technician students built a new gate for the high school's main entrance. Installation was scheduled for today. "This project is one of many going on around school that highlights the valuable skills our kids are learning," said Jack Lee, principal of Henley High School. The students also are a building a smaller gate for the entrance to Henley Middle School. By taking on this project they saved the district more than $10,000. Fantastic job!
- NEW WEBSITE!! In August, we plan to launch our newly designed website. We are excited about its features and believe families will find it easier to navigate. It also will include some fun features, and allow us to showcase our schools and students.
- COMMUNICATION SURVEY: We want to know how best to get information to you. Look for our survey this summer in an upcoming newsletter, on our website, and on social media.