• Traducción Española

    April 29, 2021

    Grants Pass staff, students and families,

    As many of you have heard, Josephine County is, unfortunately, one of 15 counties moving back to "extreme" this Friday, April 30, 2021. This change does not impact the progress we’ve already made to reopen schools, nor does it prevent us from reopening further. Our only hindrance continues to be our county case rate, which must be below 200 per 100,000 population for two weeks in a row in order to bring our middle and high school students back full-time.

    Our move back to extreme does reduce capacity limits for K-12 sports and activities, however. Gathering limits are now reduced to 100 for outdoor sports, and 6 for indoorKeep an eye out for any additional updates from your school and/or coaches.

    This week, our Grants Pass School Board unanimously passed a resolution declaring May 3-7, 2021, Teacher Appreciation Week. Our teachers have demonstrated tremendous creativity, flexibility, and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic and we are incredibly grateful for their work. If you or your student(s) would like to thank a teacher, you’re invited to upload a note, video message, or picture HERE.

    Lastly, Josephine County Public Health and Siskiyou Community Health Center are holding a vaccine clinic at Grants Pass High School open to all who are eligible to receive the vaccine. This is one of a series of clinics scheduled throughout Josephine County. The clinic will be held May 6-7. Anyone interested in attending the clinic can sign up through Siskiyou Community Health Center by clicking HERE.

    As I shared last week, our students and staff have proven that they are committed to embracing safety protocols so that our schools can remain open. Thank you for doing your part to keep COVID case rates down in Josephine County so we can get all students back in school full-time.

    We are GP!

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

     

    April 22, 2021

    Dear Grants Pass staff, students, and families,

    This week, all of our elementary school students returned for full-time instruction. I can’t express how much joy it brought me to see classrooms across every campus, full of kids. The seas of raised hands eager to answer a math question. The voices traveling out into the hallways as an entire class practiced reading aloud. The energy and excitement are palpable.

    Every student, every day has always been our goal here in District 7. The new guidance for reduced physical distancing in classrooms puts that goal in closer reach, but we need everyone’s help.

    The Ready School, Safe Learners Guidance from the Oregon Department of Education requires that our county case rate is below 200 positive cases per 100,000 people before we can reopen at middle and high school (p. 21).

    Our students and staff have proven that they are committed to embracing safety protocols that set us up for a successful return to the classroom full-time. Since reopening in September, we have seen no community spread of COVID-19 in our school buildings.

    We desperately want to get our middle and high school students back in the classroom 5 days a week. Please continue taking steps to limit the spread of COVID-19: washing your hands, limiting gatherings, and getting vaccinated if you’re able.

    There will be an upcoming opportunity for anyone 16 and older to be vaccinated at Grants Pass High School. A clinic will be held in partnership with Siskiyou Community Health Center. More information, including sign-ups, will be sent your way soon.

    Thank you for your continued partnership and support.

    We are GP!

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

     

    April 8, 2021

    Dear Grants Pass staff, students, and families,

    We have exciting news to share! Plans have been approved to bring all elementary students back to full-time in-person instruction. Elementary families should have already received an email from their school principal with detailed information on dates and any adjustments to schedules.

    Unfortunately, our county case rates are still too high to reduce the 6-foot distancing requirements in our middle and high schools, and we will need to continue in the current hybrid schedule. We need to be in the “green”, meaning we have less than 200 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population (p. 21) in order to reduce physical distancing to 3 feet.

    We are so proud of the work our staff, students, and families have done to follow the health and safety protocols and keep our schools open to the maximum extent possible. Thank you! This move to full-time for all of K-5 is one more success to celebrate.

    We are GP,

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

     

    April 1, 2021

    Dear Grants Pass Staff and Families,

    During spring break we received new guidance from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). We are excited to announce we will be allowed to shift physical distancing at all of our elementary schools from six feet to three feet as now recommended by the CDC. Unfortunately, our county case rates are too high to reduce distancing for 6-12 grades at this time.

    Since returning on Monday, our leadership and teacher teams have been meeting to plan our next steps. Right now we are partnering with our association to get updated agreements in place, and in the event we can move to full time, we are updating our required reopening blueprints, and hiring additional teaching staff to meet the new requirements.

    We appreciate your patience as we’ve been working to address some of the complexities around increasing in-person instruction which include desks being 3 feet apart for instruction but 6 feet apart while eating, and coordinating music and PE schedules and classroom spaces which must still maintain 6 feet of physical distancing.

    Having already successfully transitioned our first-grade students back to full-time instruction, we are well-equipped to make similar transitions for all of K-5 as soon as possible, while ensuring we give everyone time to prepare.

    Thank you,

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent 

    Grants Pass School District 7

    picture of superintendent kolb

    https://youtu.be/HJRy9QpYjY4 

    March 19, 2021

    Dear Grants Pass staff, students, and families,

    Today the CDC released new guidance changing its distancing recommendations for schools. This announcement gives us great hope that the state of Oregon will align with these recommendations and allow more students to return to the classroom for in-person instruction.

    Grants Pass School District 7 remains committed to bringing back all students, every day to the maximum extent possible.

    As we head into spring break, I hope you can relax, recharge, and enjoy your time together. School will continue after spring break as planned, in our current model of hybrid learning (with the exception of first grade). We anticipate the state will be working to update the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance in the coming weeks. We will adapt accordingly while keeping you informed along the way.

    Thank you for your continued support. Have a wonderful spring break.

    We are GP!

    Kirk T. Kolb

    superintendent kirk kolb photo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tuW8aQ-Jko 

     

    January 29, 2021

    Dear Grants Pass families,

    In our last communication, we reiterated that “following a successful reopening of our elementary schools, we will phase in additional grade levels (grades 6-12).” I’ve had a few questions seeking confirmation about what that entails. 

    As you know, the state COVID metrics for schools are now advisory, and the decision to reopen schools is a local decision based on the input of our school community and Public Health. Last month our staff, students, and families weighed in, and this week our Board unanimously approved plans to reopen. This means we will be following the same process outlined back in November and reopen in phases.

    Intended Timeline

    February 1, 2021: Our K-5 students return to in-person instruction in a hybrid model.

    • If we have a successful transition bringing back K-5 students - meaning we do not have a COVID outbreak (3 or more cases) at any one of our schools within 2 weeks - we will start bringing back our middle school students. The earliest that transition could be is:

    Week of February 15, 2021: Potential return of 6-8 students in hybrid model

    • February 15 is a holiday, but at some point that week, we would look to bring our 6th graders back first, with 7-8 to follow. You will hear more from your student’s school in the coming weeks if we are able to move forward with these plans
    • If we have a successful transition bringing back 6-8 students - meaning we do not have a COVID outbreak (3 or more cases) at any of our middle schools for 2 weeks - we will start bringing back our high school students. The earliest that transition could be is:

    Week of March 1, 2021: Potential return of 9-12 students in hybrid model

    • Again, we would do a soft start, with 9th grade students returning first. More details to come as we monitor the reopening of our elementary and middle schools.

     

    As always, things may change. We will continue to follow all state guidance and direction from our local public health authority. 

     

    We look forward to welcoming all of our students back soon!

     

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

     

    January 21, 2021

    Dear Grants Pass School District Staff and Families, 

    The newest Ready Schools, Safe Learners requirements came out from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) this week. While new requirements are coming - most notably a new testing requirement (with consent) - we are confident we can move ahead with plans to start bringing District 7 students back to school. Thank you for your patience as we waited for that new guidance, knowing we are all eager to return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. 

    We will share the following reopening plans with the Board of Education during our regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, January 26, 2021:

    February 1, 2021

    • K-5 students will return to on-site learning in a hybrid model
    • K-5 students wishing to stay remote will transfer to GP Online
    • 6-12 students will continue in Comprehensive Distance Learning at home

    Due to state requirements around cohorting and social (physical) distancing, K-5 students will be in a hybrid model, attending school in-person 2 days a week, and participating in Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) 3 days a week. Additional information will be coming directly from your student’s school(s) in the coming days.  

    Following a successful reopening of our elementary schools, we will phase in additional grade levels (6-12).

    As we prepare to return students to the classroom, we recognize some students and families do not feel comfortable returning right now. Once again, if you want to transfer your student(s) to GP Online, please fill out this form. You do not need to fill out the form if your student is already enrolled in GP Online.

    We look forward to welcoming all of our students back soon.

    We are GP!

     

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

     

     

    January 13, 2021

    Dear Grants Pass staff and families, 

    As promised, here’s our weekly update on our progress in reopening schools. The District 7 leadership team has been working with staff, Josephine County Public Health, and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to move forward with hybrid plans, similar to what we announced in November.

    The additional reopening requirements that are being added to Ready Schools, Safe Learners will be announced by ODE on January 19. Any new requirements in RSSL will determine our timeline for reopening, which we hope to announce next week. 

    It was made very clear in our survey data, that the majority of our families, students, and staff want to have the option to return to in-person learning. However, we also recognize returning to the classroom is not the best option for all families. If you indicated in the survey that you wanted to transfer your student(s) to GP Online, please fill out this form. You do not need to fill out the form if your student is already enrolled in GP Online.

    COVID-19 is still very much a reality in our community with over 400 cases in the last two weeks, and we must meet all of the requirements outlined by ODE in order to move forward. We do not want to continue dashing hope by changing course on our staff, students, and families, so we will wait to receive the final guidance on January 19th and work quickly to make any changes to our blueprints in order to align with the new requirements to reopen. Our goal is and has always been to open our schools to in-person instruction safely and keep them open.

    Thank you for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to welcoming our students and staff back soon.

    We are GP!

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

    office_of_the_superintendent@grantspass.k12.or.us

     

    January 7, 2021

    Dear Grants Pass families,

    As promised, we want to keep you informed about our plans to return more students to in-person instruction. Again, it is District 7’s intent to bring students back to school in a hybrid model soon. As you know, we have already developed plans for returning more students to in-person instruction. We implemented those plans successfully with our K-3 students in the fall, and we are ready to do it again with additional grade levels.

    However, the state is making changes to the requirements school districts have to abide by if they open. Those requirements are known as Ready Schools, Safe Learners (RSSL). The state has until January 19, 2021, to update RSSL. Once we receive the updated RSSL, we hope it will allow us to move forward with our return-to-school plans.

    We have been asked, didn’t the Governor say schools could open now?

    While on the surface, it appears that school districts have the choice to reopen as of January 1, it is not so cut and dried. The following steps have, or are being completed, this month:
     
     
    Click to review Governor Kate Brown's latest announcement regarding schools.
     

    Lastly, I want to reiterate the significance of reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. After just a few days of Limited In-Person Instruction, we have dozens of staff members and students on quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 over Winter Break. If we do not all take steps to reduce the spread, we will not be able to open schools. Thank you for doing your part to wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance, and limit gatherings.

    Please know we are moving through this work with urgency, but also with diligence. Thank you for your continued patience. We will send our staff and families another update next week.

     

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

    office_of_the_superintendent@grantspass.k12.or.us

     

    December 30, 2020

    Dear Grants Pass families,

    We planned to pause COVID-19 and school-related communication during winter break, but we know many of you are eager to learn how Governor Kate Brown’s latest announcement impacts District 7. We are and have been committed to bringing students back for in-person instruction as soon as possible. These upcoming changes have renewed our hope that we can accomplish this in the new year. 

    Like many of you, we did not anticipate the governor’s announcement two days before Christmas. Allowing metrics to be “advisory” rather than “mandatory” is a major shift from current policy. This change means school districts have more local control in deciding when they can safely bring students back for in-person learning and prioritizes bringing elementary students back by mid-February. We will work closely with District stakeholders and Public Health officials before making an official announcement, but we believe that is an attainable goal for District 7.

    That said, K-12 students will continue to learn remotely when we return to school on January 4, 2021.  While I know many of our staff, students, and families are eager to return right away, there are several boxes that need to be checked before we are able to move forward. 

    These criteria include:

    • Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority will be working with schools to provide on-site, rapid testing as a safeguard to quickly address symptomatic individuals and those with potential exposure to COVID-19. We are waiting on additional information about the timeline, protocols, etc.
    • ODE and OHA reviewing the Ready Schools, Safe Learners (RSSL) requirements by January 19, 2021.
    • The Governor’s Medical Advisory Panel and the Healthy Schools Reopening Council reviewing any proposed updates to Oregon school metrics in January.
    • Engaging teachers, school staff, parents, and students in the decision-making process.

    As we work on accomplishing the above requirements for reopening, we invite you to complete this short survey to help inform our next steps. The survey will close on January 6. Our goal is to prioritize your student's education and wellness while also tending to the health and safety of all. We are working closely with Josephine County Public Health on our in-person plans. 

    Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts, and thank you for your continued patience as we navigate yet another change for K-12 schools. We will communicate weekly with any updates.

     

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

    Office_of_the_superintendent@grantspass.k12.or.us

     

    December 16, 2020

    Dear Grants Pass staff and families,

    As you know, we have committed to keeping our school community informed so that families can make necessary plans during these ever-changing times. And with only a few more days of school left before winter break, I wanted to provide you with an update on COVID metrics and how they impact our return to the classroom.

    Our cases in Josephine County are higher now than they have been the entire pandemic. Unfortunately, these high case rates mean K-12 schools are in the “red” and required to be teaching and learning via comprehensive distance learning (CDL). Based on current case rates, we will not be able to bring students back for in-person instruction on January 4, 2021. However, we will evaluate the metrics each week, and communicate any changes as they come. 

    Getting students back to school in-person remains a high priority for District 7. As soon as metrics allow, we will implement a phased-in return of students to school buildings.

    Lastly, in an effort to provide you and your family with the most restful break, we will not be sending out email notifications about positive COVID cases in school buildings, unless the case impacts your student’s cohort directly. We will, however, continually update our COVID dashboard on the District website should you want to stay informed about any positive cases within our school community. 

    We hope that you have a safe, healthy, happy holidays, and we look forward to the new year ahead.

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

    office_of_the_superintendent@grantspass.k12.or.us

     

    November 24, 2020

    Grants Pass staff, students, and families,

    One week ago, we announced plans to bring more students back to school. However, as we’ve seen time and time again throughout this pandemic, a lot can change in a week. 

    In a week we went from green to yellow, then yellow to orange, and Josephine County Public Health says we are on a clear path to be in the red as soon as this week. Red means all students, K-12, must learn remotely via Comprehensive Distance Learning.

    Our team had a very sobering conversation with local public health officials yesterday afternoon, and they believe our numbers will only get worse over the next few weeks. Given this information, we will be moving all students to Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) beginning the week of November 30.

    K-3

    Students in grades K-3 will begin CDL on Tuesday, December 1. Your teachers will provide you with your CDL schedule no later than Monday, November 30. The CDL schedule will include DAILY synchronous (live) instruction via Canvas.

    4-12 

    Students in grades 4-12 will continue following their current CDL schedule on Monday, November 30. 

    I know this news will come as a huge relief for some, and a giant disappointment to others. There is no perfect solution for balancing health & safety, education, and all the unique situations each of you face individually. I do know our staff will continue to provide the best possible education in this remote setting, and we will be flexible and gracious with one another as we navigate these difficult times.

    We know you need time to plan for the weeks ahead. We anticipate CDL will continue through winter break, but we will follow the metrics and resume in-person learning when they allow. For 6th - 8th grade, this will delay our plans to begin our hybrid schedule on January 4. For 9th - 12th grades this may adjust our start date as well. We will update you on our plans to start hybrid as we learn more.

    If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s school.

    We can get to green again, but we can’t do it alone. We encourage everyone to take steps to keep one another healthy. Wash your hands, wear face coverings, and limit the number of people you gather with. When we all work together to stay safe, we can offer our students the opportunity to learn in our classrooms again.

    Sincerely, 

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Grants Pass School District 7

    Office_of_the_superintendent@grantspass.k12.or.us

     

    November 17, 2020

    Thank you for your patience as we took the necessary steps for reopening schools under the new metrics. We are excited to announce our plans to bring more students back to school and do it in the safest way possible for students and staff. Due to current COVID case rates in Josephine County, we are in the “yellow”. This means we are required to reopen in phases. As we shared last week, that careful phasing-in will begin with bringing our 4th and 5th grade students back first.

    REOPENING PLANS

    K–3rd

    There will be no changes to the current hybrid schedule for K-3. Students will continue to come to school on their scheduled days.

    4th–5th

    We will bring our 4th and 5th grade students back in a hybrid model the week after Thanksgiving (November 30th).

    One half of students will attend school Monday/Thursday. The other half of students will attend school Tuesday/Friday. Students will participate in Comprehensive Distance Learning on the days they are not at school. Information on the days your student will attend will be coming from your child’s school.

    6th–8th

    If we have a successful transition bringing back 4th–5th graders (meaning we do not have a COVID outbreak at any of our schools), we will bring 6th-8th graders back in a hybrid model. Our target date for introducing a hybrid model is January 4, 2021. 

    9th–12th

    If we have a successful transition bringing back 6th–8th graders (meaning we do not have a COVID outbreak at any of our schools), we will bring 9th–12th graders back in a hybrid model. Our target date for introducing a hybrid model at the high school is the start of the third quarter.

    VIRTUAL TOWN HALL

    We will discuss our reopening plans in more detail during a virtual town hall tomorrow, November 18, 2020, at 6 p.m. A recording of the town hall will be available online on our District website: www.grantspass.k12.or.us. There is also a list of FAQs at the bottom of this email.

    GOVERNOR'S TWO WEEK FREEZE AND TRAVEL ADVISORY

    Lastly, we want to remind you of Governor Kate Brown’s travel advisory and two-week freeze which goes into effect tomorrow, November 18. This freeze does not impact K-12 schools and we remain open. However, it’s up to all of us to work together and take the necessary precautions to flatten the COVID curve and ensure our schools can open and stay open.

    Per the latest order from the Governor, all Oregonians are urged to stay local and to “self-quarantine for 14 days” if they travel outside of the state. Social get-togethers (indoors and outdoors) are limited to “no more than six people, total, from no more than two households.” Read more about the travel advisory and two week freeze.

    We will continue to follow all the state guidance outlined in our Ready Schools, Safe Learners plans.

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

    office_of_the_superintendent@grantspass.k12.or.us

     

    October 30, 2020

    Good afternoon Grants Pass students and families,

    As many of you have probably seen or heard by now, the Governor has updated the state metrics which determine when schools can reopen based on COVID case rates. Based on what we’ve heard today, our district may be allowed to bring more of our K-12 students back to school.

    Grants Pass School District 7’s goal has always been to bring as many kids back to school as soon and as safely as possible. We are excited to review these new metrics and determine our next steps for reopening.

    Thank you for your patience as we take time to process and plan so that the adjustments we make are done safely and in the best interest of our students and staff.

    Have a safe and fun Halloween weekend.

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Office of the Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

     

    October 6, 2020 

    Dear GP Families,

    You shared, and we listened. We know this unique (and in some ways crazy) school year has presented challenges. You and your students are navigating an entirely new way of teaching and learning, as are our staff.

    Based on your feedback, we realize there is a need for some additional help with our new learning management system, Canvas. We’re excited to announce that help is here. We have launched a Canvas Support Help Desk, where you can get one-on-one help troubleshooting technology issues and getting answers for Canvas questions.

    Beginning today, our Canvas Support team can be reached by phone, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. as well as through email. You can also submit a Canvas Support Ticket to streamline the process. For general questions, including how to generate a “pair with observer” code for your Canvas Parent app, visit our Canvas resource page on our website.

    Canvas Support Help Desk Information

    As I’ve said before, we are all learning and improving every day. We are proud of the work our staff are doing in their classrooms, and we’re proud of the high percentage of our students attending school–and even more importantly–participating in learning. We are almost halfway through the first quarter of the school year. If you haven’t already, now is the time to check in on your student’s assignments and grades to ensure they are passing. If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to your child’s school.

    It can’t be said enough: thank you for your support. We are GP!

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

     

    September 18, 2020

    Dear GP Families,

    Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! With the return of our K-3 students on-site this week, all of our students are officially back to school.

    Thanks so much for your patience as we’ve worked to help students and families log in to Chromebooks, connect to their Canvas classrooms and other programs, and get through our new health screening protocols and check-in for K-3. We are learning and improving every day, and we appreciate your feedback.

    While this new school year is unlike any other, it’s been so powerful to witness the level of enthusiasm and engagement from our students, staff, and families. I’ve seen virtual assemblies put on for students participating in Comprehensive Distance Learning, virtual back-to-school nights for our GP Online (GPO) students, and for the first time in 6 months we heard the sounds of laughter and learning taking place inside our elementary classrooms. Whether it’s online or in-person, our students and staff are connecting in a much more meaningful way than we were able to in the spring, and we couldn’t be happier. Thank you.

    We know this new school year requires a lot of time and energy from our families at home, and we are so grateful for your partnership. Please know we are here to support you. If you have questions about your child’s schedule, technology issues, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school or the district. We long for the day when all of our kids can return to our classrooms. For now, we will charge on, holding on to the hope that that day is not too far away.

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District 7

     

    August 3, 2020

    Dear Grants Pass School District families,

    As many of you know, we have been working on our Ready Schools, Safe Learners blueprint for reopening our schools. Educators, administrators, and staff have been working around the clock to develop a plan that not only delivers high level learning opportunities but does so in the safest way possible for our staff, students, and their families. 

    How did we get here?

    At the start of June, staff and families were invited to participate in a survey to help shape plans for the fall and provide feedback on the distance learning we all shifted to at a moment’s notice in the spring. Of those who responded to the survey, nearly 70% of families said they wanted to return to school in-person, 5 days a week. Just over 5% said they wanted to continue in full distance learning this fall.

    After hearing from our families, convening several re-opening committees of staff, and poring over the guidance from Oregon Department of Education, the district developed a model where K-5 students are in school every day, and 6-12 students are on a rotating, hybrid model. We recognize that children learn best when physically present in the classroom, and this model would allow for as much in-person instruction as feasible with the state requirements, while getting our youngest, earliest, learners in the classroom every day.

    Those plans were shared with our community on July 1, 2020. Since then, cases of coronavirus across our state continue to rise, reaching daily records. Last week, Governor Kate Brown announced state-wide coronavirus “metrics” which determine whether schools can have in-person learning at all. The metrics deal with state and county test positivity rates and having less than 10 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in your county for three weeks in a row. That translates to having less than 9 cases per week in Josephine County for three consecutive weeks. Currently, we do not meet that metric. Just two weeks ago, the Oregon Health Authority reported 16 new cases in Josephine County. 

    Now what?

    With these new state requirements in effect, it’s clear we must start the 20-21 school year in Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL), with the exception of K-3 and our most vulnerable students. More on that in a moment. 

    What is Comprehensive Distance Learning?

    Comprehensive Distance Learning is everything you love about Grants Pass Schools, delivered on a virtual platform. This will not be like the short-term distance learning we all experienced in the spring. Students will work with their GPSD7 teacher(s) virtually using district adopted curriculum and programs. We will use one learning management system (Canvas) which will have all school/class information. There will be daily schedules with synchronous (live) learning opportunities alongside independent work. You can expect standard grading: letter grades for 6-12, and 1-4 scale for K-5. There will be time built into the school schedule for teacher check-ins and peer-to-peer interactions. School will look and feel different, there’s no doubt about it. But we are crafting a plan that aims to give kids the best possible education we can, while adjusting our approach under the circumstances.

    With CDL, the hope and intent is that it’s temporary.

    Once state and county metrics allow, students will return to in-person learning at their regular school to the extent possible. We will still need to operate on-site in a hybrid model for grades 4-12, in order to follow the strict health and safety requirements outlined by the Oregon Department of Education, but we have plans and schedules created for that scenario too. We’ll revisit what those models look like as we get closer, but we’re aiming for a return to hybrid instruction by November, so long as it’s safe. 

    What’s the exception for K-3 and vulnerable students?

    The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education have created exceptions for counties with lower COVID-19 cases and lower test positivity rates. Keep in mind, it could change any time up until the start of the school year, but right now, we are one of only 13 counties that meet the exception. That means we are able to bring our earliest learners, K-3, on-site and can provide in-person assessments for special education eligibility.

    The plan is to have a slow start for K-3 beginning in September. This will allow for students and their families to familiarize themselves with new health and safety protocols, as well as new programs and technology in the event we must return to CDL. Your teachers and schools will be communicating information about the slow start, in a few weeks. 

    What if we don’t want to do Comprehensive Distance Learning?

    The Grants Pass School District is offering a 100% online option called GP Online. This is for students and families who want a virtual K-12 option regardless of whether schools re-open their physical doors. Students and families are encouraged to make a yearlong commitment to this option. Registration has now closed.

    What we will provide no matter which instructional model you choose:

    • Meals
    • Chromebooks/Technology
    • Transportation (when we’re able to resume in-person instruction)
    • Student Support Services – counselors, SPED services, EL, etc.
    • Social-Emotional Supports
    • Peer-to-Peer Interactions

    All that said, we know there are so many challenges presented by the extended closure of our physical buildings. Not being able to have kids on-site means that single parents, working families, those that care for young children or sick/elderly family members are trying to figure out how they’ll support their students as they learn from home. Until we can re-open there is no perfect solution, but we will continue to brainstorm with our community partners and share any supports we can.

    If you have additional questions, please consider attending one of our virtual town halls this Thursday.

    Aug 6, 2020 01:00 PM

    Aug 6, 2020 06:00 PM

    If you would like to join the meeting by phone, click HERE for information.

     

    Gratefully,

    Kirk T. Kolb

     


    July 28, 2020

    D7 families,

    Today Governor Kate Brown announced state and county coronavirus “metrics” which determine whether schools can have in-person learning. The metrics deal with the number of COVID-19 cases, and test positivity rates. You can read more HERE.

    Currently, we do not meet the requirements that would allow for in-person instruction. This means we need to prepare for the possibility of starting the school year in comprehensive distance learning, if current COVID-19 numbers don’t improve as required by the state. I know there will be a variety of emotions felt reading that possibility.

    After receiving today’s information, we have more work to do. Our teachers, staff, and administrators will be reconvening to determine our best path forward. We’re learning these developments as you are, and we’re working to share them out as quickly as possible.

    In the event we need to start the school year with all students learning at home, we would implement a Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) model. Be assured that CDL in 20-21 would be different and more robust than what students and teachers experienced last spring. You can learn more about the rigorous state requirements for CDL by clicking HERE.

    The health, safety, and wellness of our students and staff has guided every decision we’ve made thus far and continues to be the district’s top priority. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we adapt and adjust to the ever-changing circumstances.

    REMINDER: GPSD7 will be holding two virtual town halls next week.

    • August 6, 2020 @ 1:00 PM
    • August 6, 2020 @ 6:00 PM

    Links for the virtual meetings will be posted on our website, www.wearegp.com and sent to the email address you provided to your student’s school(s).

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

     


    July 23, 2020

    Hello GP Families,

    The Oregon Department of Education has released new guidance for reopening schools. Among the changes, face coverings will now be required for all K-12 students and staff, with some exceptions for medical necessities.

    We recognize there are students and families who have concerns about returning to school due to the changes, underlying health conditions, or exposure to COVID-19. As we shared earlier this month, we will be offering a K-12 education that is fully online. We’re excited to announce registration for that educational option is now OPEN. Students in this model will continue to be enrolled in their regular GPSD7 school, but will instead participate in a fully virtual experience called GP Online. You can learn more about the program HERE.

     GP Online Logo

    We know many of you have questions and concerns as you navigate this ever-changing situation. As you work to determine what option will be best for your student(s) and family this fall, we will be holding the following virtual town halls to answer your questions and hear your feedback.

    August 6, 2020 1:00 PM

    August 6, 2020 6:00 PM

    Invitation links for the town halls will be posted on our website and sent to the email you provided to your student’s school(s).

    Thank you for your continued patience. As we continue to get new guidance, our initial framework for re-opening may change. As we update our plans to match the state’s expectations and guidelines we will be sure to share those with you.

     

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

     


    May 7, 2020

    Hello D7 families,

    We wanted to let you know about an important benefit you should be receiving soon.

    The Department of Human Services in partnership with the Oregon Department of Education has announced that they will be providing a cash benefit to families for the months of March, April, May, and June for meals they would have received had their child been in school. The amount each family will receive for each child is $384. Eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households will have their March, April and May benefits automatically deposited in their existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) accounts in late May. Students who get free or reduced-price school meals but do not receive SNAP benefits will automatically receive an Oregon Trail Card in the mail.

    Since District 7 qualifies for all of our students to receive free meals at school, this benefit will be provided to each family with children enrolled in District 7.

    Additional options to strengthen food security include the ability for families to use their P-EBT cards to make food purchases online through Amazon and WalMart as well as take advantage of the “Double Up Food Bucks” program which matches every $1 of EBT funds spent, up to $10 on fresh fruit and vegetables at participating farmers markets.

    Families do not have to apply for this benefit as the district is submitting an application for the entire district.

    In addition to this benefit, the district will continue providing free grab-and-go meals Monday through Friday, through June 5th. You can learn more about meal pick-up and see our meal delivery schedule HERE. We will provide updates on what our summer meal program will look like soon.

    Be safe, and stay well.

     

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent


    April 8, 2020

    Good afternoon D7 students and families,

    As you've likely heard, Governor Kate Brown just announced Oregon school buildings will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. 

    In spite of this disappointing news, learning will continue despite this closure. However, in-person classes will not take place for the rest of this academic year.

    We anticipated this announcement. When we let you know we would be transitioning to Distance Learning for All, it was in line with guidance from the Oregon Department of Education that there was a "strong possibility" our students and teachers would not return to the physical classroom.

    That is now concrete.

    We know this is not the outcome we all had hoped for. We know there are events and opportunities that will be missed because of this closure. We are committed to finding creative ways to celebrate all the accomplishments and milestones for our students. We welcome your thoughts and ideas.

    Finally, we know that no two families are the same, and this is going to be a challenge. You are dealing with your own stress and anxiety over this ever-changing situation. Some of you are continuing to work, and we know helping students with distance learning has added difficulty for our essential workers. We are so grateful for the work being done on the front line for our healthcare system, the first responders, the delivery drivers and food service workers, the truck drivers, the grocery store staff, the list goes on. You are helping to keep us going.

    Please watch for a FAQ the district will be publishing in the next few days for students and families.

    Our motto here has been centered around simplicity, patience and most importantly grace - for ourselves and for others.

    Stay healthy, stay well, and reach out for help when and where you need it.

    We're all in this together.

     

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

     


     

    March 31, 2020

    Dear D7 families,
     
    I hope you and your family are safe and healthy.
     
    As many of you know, the situation continues to evolve, as the state, and the nation, work to slow the spread of COVID-19. 
     
    Last night, we received new guidance from the Oregon Department of Education. ODE is now asking districts to prepare for the "strong possibility" of kids not returning to our physical classrooms this school year.
     
    I know there are a lot of emotions that come up when you read that. There is likely a lot of anxiety about what this new teaching and learning model will look like for your students, and for you.
     
    Each day has presented new information, and it's constantly changing. The details of what this means for our district remain to be determined. 
     
    We are still waiting for official guidance from ODE on graduation requirements for seniors. They assure us every effort is being made to ensure students on track to graduate will earn their diploma. We expect to hear from them later this week.
     
    Even as we adapt to the changing guidance, we are still pressing forward.
    • We will still be distributing Chromebooks to students Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3.
    • We will still provide supplemental educational materials to students beginning Monday, April 6. This will help introduce students and families to this new way of learning.
    • We will still provide meals to kids birth-18, Monday through Friday at elementary schools, and at bus stops: https://www.grantspass.k12.or.us/Page/5050
    • We will continue to inform you of educational plans, every step of the way.
    • GP Learn at Home will officially begin Monday, April 13.
    I know this is a challenging time for all of us. Please be sure to take some time to process this and to prepare yourself for this potential reality. It’s okay to be affected by the loss of time with teachers, friends, and the activities and traditions we celebrate at the end of the year. If you need support, ODE has compiled a comprehensive list of resources that can be found HERE.
     

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

     


    March 30, 2020

    Dear GPSD7 staff and families,

    Any other year, we would have been welcoming students back to our schools today after spring break. We know it looked a lot different for all of us this year, but we hope you had the opportunity to rest, and enjoy time together as a family.

    Since the governor ordered Oregon schools to close amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff has been working around the clock to figure out what learning will look like in the coming weeks while students and teachers cannot be physically in the classroom. We are still waiting to learn more from the Oregon Department of Education in terms of guidance for school credit and graduation requirements. We will be sure to pass along all the information we get from ODE, as we get it. If you have specific questions you would like answered, please email them to Office_of_the_Superintendent@grantspass.k12.or.us, and we will be compiling an FAQ document on our website as those answers come in: www.grantspass.k12.or.us

    What’s to Come

    Your child’s school emailed you a survey to find out what your needs are in terms of access to a computer, internet, and meals. If you did not have a chance to fill out the survey, you will be hearing from your child’s school this week, if you haven’t already.

    The district is implementing remote supplemental learning in phases, and working to remove barriers to ensure all students have access to learning opportunities.

    A few notes and other reminders:

    • The Grants Pass Active Club will be giving away FREE bags of fresh produce tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31, from 11-7 at Oregon Pour Authority on SE 7th Street. They will be giving away approximately 1,000 bags of fruit and vegetables while supplies last.
    • Bus route food delivery for kids 18 and under will begin THIS Wednesday, April 1. Our grab-and-go stations at the elementary schools will continue from 11 am – 12:30 pm. More info: https://www.grantspass.k12.or.us/Page/5050
    • Chromebook distribution will take place Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3 at each school location. If you need to make other arrangements for picking up a device, please contact the school.
      • Elementary Chromebooks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
      • Middle and High School from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
    • GP Learn at Home will begin Monday, April 6.

    We are also posting updates on our social media platforms, and we would love to connect with you there.

    This is new territory for all of us, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate and adapt to our new normal.

    Be safe, be healthy, and we’ll touch base again soon. 

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

     


    March 27, 2020

    Dear D7 Families,

    Your school teams have been working hard to keep up on the ever-changing landscape of how to do school in this season of everyone staying at home. First and foremost, we hope you all are well and practicing the important guidance from the Oregon Health Authority to help everyone be safe from Covid-19. We are stronger together and we can do this. 

    Each day has brought new information, expectations, and concerns and has required much problem-solving and planning. We know it is not typical school, but it is important that we all do what we can from our homes to keep our children’s minds growing and learning. 

    We want you to have a general idea of how supplemental learning will happen for your children and we will continue to have the up-to-date information on our website here: www.grantspass.k12.or.us/Page/5056 or from your child’s home school webpage.  

    Eating well is such an important aspect for us all during this time. To support you, we are continuing to provide 2 meals each day for each student, Monday through Friday. Please check our website here https://www.grantspass.k12.or.us/Page/5056 to see the food options for your family. 

    Below is a general outline of what you can expect next week and gearing up for April 6, when we will officially have supplementary materials for you. 

    Monday, March 30 - Friday, April 3

    • School staff will reconvene remotely to create materials for students that will be available digitally as well as in hard copy packets
    • Staff will receive training to create digital learning environments for all students to access
    • Staff will be contacting families who were not able to respond to our survey to ensure everyone has access to technology, grade level packets and district meals
    • Supplementary Learning options gathered by the district are available on all school web pages linked here.
    • Food will continue to be provided; Grab and Go sites will be at all six elementary schools.  North MS, South MS, GPHS, and Gladiola students can receive meals at any of the elementary school locations.  In addition to the Grab and Go sites, we will be starting bus stop delivery of meals on April 1st; here is a link to the bus stop delivery schedules - by school,  linked here.

    Thursday, April 2

    • Student Chromebook checkout will begin at each school site
      • We will adhere to strict social distancing and cleanliness standards for this process to protect against any spread of Covid-19.
      • You will be provided the process for checking out a Chromebook for your students
      • All devices have been thoroughly sterilized to protect against any potential virus spread

     Friday, April 3

    • Continued student Chromebook checkout as needed

    Monday, April 6

    • First week of grade level and course materials will be available, both digitally and in hard copy packets

    Teachers will be communicating with their students on how to access the content for their classes as it is developed.

    We are expecting more information from the Oregon Department of Education regarding seniors and 9th through 11th grade students.  We will be communicating that information as soon as we have it from the state.  

    It can be hard to express our feelings about something that we cannot see but in this unsettling time, remember how strong we are and that we are even stronger when working together. Continue to do the good work of keeping the virus in check by practicing social distancing, washing hands frequently, and giving each other a little grace in your confined spaces.

    We Are GP! 

     


    March 20, 2020

    Good Afternoon GPSD Staff and Families,

     We had a meeting with ODE this afternoon with only minor updates.  They will be announcing plans by the middle of next week as related to graduating seniors.  Their perspective sounds incredibly promising and reassuring.  I cannot share specifics of the items discussed as none of them are final but it makes me very hopeful in ensuring diplomas for our kiddos.

    The plan continues with the closures through April 28th and supporting your children with supplemental educational and learning opportunities to roll out by April 1st.  Also, the plan for staff to return on March 30th is still in place.

    We will not be serving breakfast and lunch for the scheduled spring break (next week), however, we will resume this with a more elaborate plan starting on March 30th.  The Boys and Girls club is serving over the spring break.  Here is the link for that information: https://begreat4kids.com/

    Things seem to be changing on a daily basis and we will do our best to continue to keep you informed with the latest information and guidance.

    On a final note, enjoy the time with your loved ones and families.  Laugh together, play games, and go for a walk.  Spend time doing what makes your heart full.  Your calmness and positivity will provide an environment that is supportive and help people weather this storm.  I am continually grateful to have the opportunity to serve our kids, staff, families, and this amazing community.

    Sincerely,

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

     


    March 17, 2020

    Good Evening D7 Families and Staff,

    The Governor has just declared that all schools will remain closed through April 28th.  This is a choice beyond local control but want to ensure we are following the recommendations of health experts.

    We have begun organizing to ensure we develop educational resources and support for your children during this time.  We will continue to provide meals available at schools and potentially expanding accessibility to meals beyond pick-up at our schools.

    You should plan to continue to get updates from us as related to educational planning and governmental updates.

    We are also trying to plan for childcare opportunities for what state statutes refer to as ‘essential’ employees (police, medical, etc.).  If any of you are in need of this, please let us know. We are also exploring how we can provide opportunities for more than just ‘essential’ employees.

    For parents of seniors, this is especially unfortunate.  We will ensure opportunities for your students to obtain the necessary credits to meet state graduation requirements and continue necessary actions to apply for college and move forward with their plans after graduation.

    Again, we are grateful for an amazing community and continue to ask for the most positive thoughts and prayers during this time.  We will weather these times and be stronger for it. If you are able, I encourage you to provide assistance to families in need and populations that are most compromised as you are able.

    Sincerely,

    Kirk T. Kolb

    Superintendent

    Grants Pass School District #7