April 2, 2020 Superintendent Update
April 2, 2020
Dear KFCS Families,
When I wrote to you one week ago, our district was gearing up to provide four weeks of review/enrichment materials to keep students reading and thinking critically during the COVID-19 closure. You received the first packet of those materials this week, and teachers will be making follow-up phone calls today or tomorrow.
A new plan, issued March 30 by the Oregon Department of Education, is requiring all Oregon school districts to shift gears once again. Anticipating the “very real potential” that students will not return to classrooms on April 29, it is asking districts to move away from “supplemental” learning toward “distance learning,” including new content that will be graded and credit-bearing.
KFCS teams are hard at work determining the best delivery methods for this learning (whether online, on paper, or a combination), training teachers in online instruction, and assessing families’ access to technology and internet.
You can expect to receive “supplemental” learning packets on Wednesdays until further notice, sometime in April. You can expect details about the new learning model as soon as we have them. Here is what we know so far:
Distance learning: The district has selected Google classroom as a distance-learning platform to allow teachers to communicate with students and to deliver/receive assignments, quizzes and tests. A team is working on providing Chromebooks and internet access to families throughout the district. Families lacking a device (other than a cell phone) with which to access the internet can check out a Chromebook on Monday, April 6, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., in the Lucille O'Neil gym at 1336 Avalon Street. Families lacking internet service are encouraged to sign up for two months of free internet through Spectrum (1-844-488-8395) or Comcast (1-866-203-0432). When calling, say that your children are “doing learning from home.”
Free Grab-and-Go Meals: Along with learning packets, our district will continue to provide free bagged breakfasts and lunches to children ages 18 years and younger at the locations arranged with each family. Elementary school pick-ups are Wednesdays, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Ponderosa/KU pick-ups are Wednesdays, 10 a.m. - noon. Pick-ups at bus stops (for bus riders) are Wednesdays, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m., as arranged with each family.
Seniors and graduation: The ODE has not yet determined whether the state will adjust graduation requirements for seniors. Currently KU graduation is scheduled for Sunday, June 7 at noon on Modoc Field. If this changes, we will inform families immediately and make other plans to honor the class of 2020.
Dual credits: The district is working with Klamath Community College and Oregon Tech so that students may complete dual-credit classes. Students also may enroll directly in KCC or OIT classes for spring term without a formal permission slip from KU and with the district covering tuition for two classes.
Special education: Case managers will contact all parents of students with an Individual Education Program. Students will receive level-appropriate instructional packets and support from case managers. Students also will receive consultation services from specialized service providers such as speech-language services and occupational therapy.
Access to buildings: To retrieve personal items such as eyeglasses, medications or band instruments from school buildings, contact your child’s principal.
Childcare: Following guidance from the state, the district is ready to provide childcare services for Birth to 5-year-olds of essential personnel. This includes first responders and health care workers. Those who qualify and want to request childcare should call the central COVID-19 childcare network at 211.
We ask for your grace and patience as we learn together how to maintain continuity of education in brand new ways. We all want to give our students the very best, and I am enormously grateful for the resilience and determination I am seeing among families and staff alike.
Dr. Paul Hillyer
Superintendent, Klamath City School District