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1336 Avalon Street  •   Klamath Falls, OR 97603  •   (541) 883-4700

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Meeting Schedule and Documents:

Community Meeting 1:  Tuesday, 9/27, 6:30 – 8:30

Community Meeting 2:  Tuesday, 10/11

Community Meeting 3:  Tuesday, 10/25

Community Meeting 4:  Tuesday, 11/15

Community Meeting 5:  Tuesday, 11/29

Schools Look to Best Facility Options

Have you ever thought that something has been a certain way forever only to find out it used to be very different? For example, may people probably think that the Klamath Falls City Schools have had the current grade level arrangement for generations. However, closer examination will show that this is not the case. Many changes in how students are housed have occurred in the history of the city schools.

The district is again at the point of re-examining how they organize their buildings. As in the past, the purpose of this study is to create conditions for students that will maximize their learning potential while at the same time finding cost efficiencies.

Here is the key question: “Is there a way to organize our schools for instruction that has a financial and educational advantage over the current model of five K-6 elementary schools, one 7-8 grade junior high and one 9-12 grade high school?” As a first step in this investigation, the district will formulate a long-range facility plan. Included during the process will be discussions on grade level options, enrollment trends, building capacities, the life expectancy of current facilities, and strategic actions to meet student needs in the near and long term.

Local citizens will help conduct this study. They include parents, business representatives, and citizens from every walk of life. The first meeting will be on September 27 and the last will be on January 10, 2012. All meetings will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Boardroom at 1336 Avalon Street. These are open meetings, and all are encouraged to attend. The full schedule is on our web page.

As mentioned above, one area of exploration is grade level combinations at our sites. There are a great number of different ways to combine students. The key is to find the option that is best for our community and young people. For example, would it make sense to have grade K-5 elementary schools and a grade 6-8 middle school? Many school districts throughout the state and nation utilize this configuration.

Another option to explore is creating elementary partner schools. One set of partners would house students in lower grades, such as K-3. The other set of partners would house students in grades 4-6. Other popular options to consider would be grade K-4 elementary schools combined with a grade 5-8 middle school.

Across the nation, one can also see junior and senior high schools co-located on one campus. In this scenario, there would be a separate grade 7-8 building and a grade 9-12 building but they are joined by a common area that includes library, physical education, and lunch facilities. Students in the two buildings would both utilize the common areas but would be on different schedules so they would not be utilizing them at the same time. This type of option creates great efficiencies in facility usage.

There are a number of other ways to find such efficiencies. One popular strategy that is sweeping the nation is having facility partnerships between school districts and other community organizations such as YMCA’s, Parks and Recreation Departments, community health organizations, Chambers of Commerce, and public libraries. Such partnerships maximize facility dollars through creating around-the-clock facility usage by groups of varied ages and needs. This approach has helped communities across the country save dollars, increase attractiveness to potential businesses and newcomers, and provide improved services to residents.

As our facility study progresses through the fall and early winter, the school board hopes citizens share their ideas and preferences with them. The meetings mentioned above will give opportunities for this dialog. For those who cannot make them feel free to email (, write (1336 Avalon Street), or call (541-883-4700) me. I will be happy to pass your thoughts on to task force.