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July 15, 2020                         Superintendents update – School Opening

                I hope everyone is enjoying summer in Siskiyou County. I know there is no other place I would rather be during this COVID pandemic. Though there is no definitive answers yet concerning schools reopening, I thought I would take a minute to update you on our situation.

                If you have been watching or reading the news, schools reopening has been a major debate in the media from all sides – health officials, politicians, teachers, school administrators and the public. Everyone seems to have their own opinions. I will tell you what I know so far and what I take away from a weekly Zoom meeting that I attend with Siskiyou County Office of Education.

                At this point we are still planning and preparing to open our school on August 26th. This will however be determined later in the summer by powers higher than just me. At this point some of the biggest districts in the state have already said they will not be reopening except for distance learning. It appears that the Governor will not make a blanket policy for all schools in California and let these decisions be made on a regional basis. This would obviously be in our favor but there will be conditions.

                First I think that our county would need to be in declining case numbers. Second, we need to have an approved plan for reopening that meets requirements being developed now by the CDC and local health officials. The main goal is to keep our students, families and staff safe. I heard yesterday that masks will almost definitely be required for all students and staff while at school in California.

                Our new normal will include temperature checks each morning and an entry process. Social distancing setups in all our areas, frequent use of hand sanitizer and washing and frequent cleaning. We have added a new position at our school to check students in, conduct daily frequent cleaning of bathrooms and surfaces and dealing with students who become sick during the day. Our typical school/community gatherings will also need to be postponed until further notice.

                Although this is a quick overview of what will be a more comprehensive plan, I wanted to let you know the direction we are moving in. To me the bottom line is we must endure some of these restrictions in order to get our kids back in school and stay in school. Independent study may also be an option for our families that do not feel comfortable sending their kids back to school.

                I hope this helps. I will continue to post on our website as plans develop and as always will continue to track decisions being made at the county, state and federal levels. For now, I wish you a great rest of the summer.

Sincerely,

Todd Clark

Update July 15 (6).pdf (PDF)

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