Dear KCSD families,
Thanks to a waiver from the state, Klamath County schools will continue their current in-person school models and schedules despite a 10.7% county COVID-19 test positivity rate. The Oregon Department of Education late Tuesday agreed to a one-week stay of the rate so health officials could update data.
The county appealed to the state for a waiver, citing a ransomware attack at the local medical center. Klamath County Public Health officials are working with the state and local providers to ensure all negative test results were accurately reported in the correct week.
Case rates allow schools to stay open to in-person instruction until they go over 200 per 100,000. Test positivity percentages allow schools to stay open to in-person instruction until they go over 10%.
“Klamath County and Klamath Falls City schools do not need to take any action in relation to the 10.7% test positivity data point released this week,” said Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education and deputy superintendent of public instruction, in an email to district superintendents and commissioner Kelley Minty Morris. “The schools will need to return to normal procedures and take action based test positivity and case rate data that will be released on Monday, Nov. 23.”
Klamath County School District will continue to monitor the metrics and will alert families of any changes to our school models and schedules. If the rate goes above 10% next week, our 4th-12th grade students at Brixner, Ferguson, Shasta, Stearns, Peterson, Falcon Heights, Mazama, and the Henley Complex would be required to start classes Monday, Nov. 30 with comprehensive distance learning. We will post any updates on our website at http://www.kcsd.k12.or.us.
Unfavorable metrics at this time do not impact our K-3 students and students in our small, rural schools – Keno, Malin, Merrill, Chiloquin, Gilchrist, Gearhart, Bonanza, and Lost River. Those students would continue with their current in-person models under a “safe harbor” clause in the state guidance. The safe harbor clause also includes special education students and other students attending under limited in-person instruction models. If metrics remain unfavorable, these students would be required to transition to distance learning as of Jan. 4.
Klamath County School District’s top priority is the safety of our students and staff, and we will continue to monitor the impact of the virus on our communities. As of today, Klamath County Public Health officials assure us that the increasing trend in new cases is not associated with our school communities, and the county continues to experience minimal community spread.
We worked hard to bring our students back, and we hope our county’s numbers decrease so we can continue to offer in-person learning. We wish our families an enjoyable Thanksgiving break.
Superintendent, Klamath County School District For more: Follow this link — Ready Schools, Safe Learners – to see the metrics starting on page 12). For the county’s week-by-week COVID-19 case counts and metrics: Klamath_County_Covid-19_data.)