KF schools shut down after one week of in person learning

KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore.— All grade levels in the Klamath County School District went back to in-person learning on November 16th.

“Boy, they were so happy to be there,” Superintendent of the district, Glen Szymoniak, said. “Typically high schoolers are like, ‘oh I hate school,’ but you didn’t see that at all.”

He says all the students were excited to see their friends and their teachers, but it didn’t last long.

The week after classes resumed, Klamath County reached record high Coronavirus case numbers.

“We reported Friday that we had 130 cases last week,” Valeree Lane, Klamath County Public Health, said.  “Actually after we took away cases, brought back cases, took away cases, my math was off, it was 133.”

According to the Oregon Health Authority, Klamath County schools are allowed to have in-person learning if case numbers stay below 68 in a two week period.

Between the 26th to the 20th, case numbers were almost double that.

“While it was not unexpected, it was not pleasant hearing that they only got a week in before going out,” Szymoniak said.

When classes started in September, Kindergarten through 3rd graders and smalls schools were allowed to participate in a hybrid model. They spent half of their time at school and the other half learning online.

4th through 12th graders, were completely online since the start of the school year.

But now, the latest case numbers set them back even further than where they started.

All grade levels now have to learn online.

“They’re going to have to give us some grace time to prepare those teachers and to prepare the learning packets for them to do distance learning.” 

Szymoniak says the earliest k-3rd grades could be back in class would be December 7th. That’s if case numbers stay below the allotted number.

For 4th-12th grade, the earliest they could go back to class wouldn’t be until after the new year.

As for Klamath City Schools, Tuesday is their last day in person before Thanksgiving break. On November 30th, they will have to be completely online as well.

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