KCSD schedules community forums

Hear about school reopening plans and ask questions

July 21, 2020

The Klamath County School District has scheduled a series of community forums for parents who are interested in finding out more about their school’s reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year.

The forums will provide parents a chance to hear from district administrators and school principals and ask specific questions about their school’s plan to reopen under a hybrid-learning model, which balances face-to-face classroom instruction with distance learning at home.

The 2020-21 school year for students is scheduled to begin Aug. 31. Schools statewide have been closed since March 16 to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We want to get kids back to school as much as possible and as soon as possible,” said Glen Szymoniak, superintendent of the Klamath County School District. “Our biggest limiting factors in fully reopening all of our schools is space in our classrooms and the means to safely transport students.”

The district has received letters and comments from parents demanding the district fully reopen so their children can be back in school full time. At schools where it may be possible to get all students back every day, the district will be working with the principal and community to make that happen, Szymoniak said.

“We have prepared a plan that meets the requirements of the law,” he said. “Our plan brings students back to school while also giving the district time to make modifications to facilities and adjust our transportation plan. The goal is to bring as many students back as we can while still adhering to the requirements set by the state.”

The district’s plan must follow Gov. Kate Brown’s Executive Order and Oregon Department of Education Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance that provides clear health and safety reopening requirements and protocols.

People appear to be misled by the word “guidance,” Szymoniak said. Under the governor’s Executive Order, the district must follow the required parts of ODE’s guidance. The 47-page document includes both requirements and recommendations.

“People are under the impression the district has more decision-making authority than it does,” he added. “If the district does not follow the requirements set up by the Oregon Department of Education, we could lose funding and we could be held liable for COVID-19-related tragedies.”

The Klamath County School District created its reopening plan in accordance with the following priorities: 1) the safety of students and staff; 2) quality instruction for all students; and 3) avoiding a COVID-related shutdown.

In addition to hybrid-instruction, the district also has homeschool and full-distance learning options available to families. KCSD’s current reopening plan can be found on the district’s website at www.kcsd.k12.or.us.

Schedule for community forums

The community forums start Thursday, July 23 and run through Aug. 5. The hour-long events will be held outside, and attendees are asked to bring their own chairs. Face coverings are recommended.

Following are dates and times of the forums:

  • *Lost River/Merrill/Malin
    6:30 p.m., Thursday, July 23, Lost River

  • Chiloquin Schools
    6 p.m., July 29, Chiloquin High, north lawn

  • Mazama/Brixner
    6 p.m., July 29, Mazama football field

  • Shasta/Ferguson
    6 p.m., July 30, Mazama football field

  • Peterson/Stearns
    6 p.m., Aug. 3, Mazama football field

  • Bonanza/Gearhart
    6 p.m., Aug. 4, Bonanza School

  • Gilchrist Schools
    6 p.m., Aug. 4, Gilchrist School

  • Keno Elementary
    6 p.m., Aug. 5, Keno Elementary

  • Henley/Falcon Heights
    6 p.m., Aug. 5, Henley Complex

A community forum for students interested in the district’s full-distance learning options, including its long-standing homeschool program, will be scheduled in August.

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