Welcome Back Eagles
McKenzie Families,

We had a wonderful first day back to school! It was great to see all of our students filling the hallways of McKenzie. We thank you for your continued patience as our teachers and staff adapt to students back in classrooms with additional health precautions. 

Hours: Students can arrive on campus starting at 7:45 a.m. School runs from 8 - 3:50 p.m.
Meals: We are excited to share that all of our students will continue to eat free breakfast and lunch under the USDA Community Eligibility Provision.
Bus Routes: Click Here for the latest schedules. Thank you so much for being so patient as we continue to navigate road delays and schedule changes. 

This year finds us again beginning the school year blanketed by wildfire smoke. The Middle Fork Complex to the south and fires in northern California are providing the majority of the pollution.

We are keeping exterior doors and windows closed as much as possible to reduce smoke infiltration. Depending on the Air Quality Index level, outdoor activities such as PE and recess may be limited for all or some student groups. As lunch is not a strenuous activity, we will continue to serve meals outdoors unless air quality rises to the Very Unhealthy or Hazardous levels. Please reach out to us to ensure we have accurate medical records if your student falls into a sensitive group, such as having heart or lung conditions.

The protective layers put in place to help protect staff and students from COVID-19 will remain to help keep our classrooms a safe refuge from the smoke. These layers include face coverings, six feet physical distancing, hand hygiene, air movement provided by our HVAC system, and portable HEPA filter systems in classrooms.

Wildfire smoke will likely continue to be a concern until we get significant rainfall in the area. Until then, we will continue to monitor local air quality, the Oregon Wildfire Smoke Information website forecast, and forecasts from area fire incident management teams. Should the long-range forecast include days in the very unhealthy and hazardous levels, school may be canceled. When the decision to cancel school is decided, we will communicate the closure through the usual channels, including radio, television, website, McKenzie App, FlashAlert, email, phone call and text. If you haven't updated your contact info with us yet this fall, I encourage you to do so.

We have a wonderful year ahead and I am here to answer any of your questions and concerns.

Go Eagles!

Lane Tompkins,
Health Guidelines
We will continue to align ourselves with the The Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework. We will be following those guidelines. Our priority is to safely bring students back to school full-time and keep schools open and kids in classrooms throughout the school year.

Vaccinations: Vaccinations are proving to be the best defense against COVID-19. We will continue to work with Lane County Public Health to make vaccinations available to eligible populations in our community by hosting vaccination clinics. Everyone age 12 and over is eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 now. Authorization of vaccines for youth under 12 is expected this fall or winter. Lane County Public Health will be hosting a vaccination clinic for eligible students at our Welcome Back BBQ Friday, September 17th. As you know, Gov. Kate Brown recently announced that Oregon would require all public and private school teachers, staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.Oregon school staff will need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination by Oct.18. Exceptions may be made for eligible medical or religious reasons. 

Face Coverings: We will follow Oregon Health Authority’s statewide rule (OAR 333-019-1015) requiring face coverings in all indoor school settings, both public and private, for all individuals two years and older, including all students, staff, contractors, volunteers and visitors. This rule is in response to the sharp uptick in the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon and the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19. Face coverings will also be mandatory on district buses due to CDC requirements for public transportation. 

Physical Distancing: Reflecting the guidance, we will continue to support and promote physical distancing of students and staff. We will continue to distance in classrooms, the playground and during transitions when students are standing in line. Floor markings will remain a fixture of McKenzie’s spaces.

Cohorts: Students will continue to be tracked and placed into stable cohorts to the greatest extent possible, especially in our younger grades who cannot benefit from vaccinations. Cohorting helps reduce the number of people exposed and helps identify those who may have been exposed in case of an identified COVID-19 case in the school.

Entry Screening, Isolation and Testing: Students will continue to be screened for illness when arriving at school each day. Preventing ill students from coming to school helps prevent the spread of many illnesses beyond COVID. Students who show sickness symptoms during screening or during the day will be referred to our isolation room in the elementary office. Parents will be notified to pick up their student. We will continue to provide COVID-19 rapid tests this year to ill students with parental consent. The District is required to exclude students who demonstrate primary symptoms of COVID-19 as we were last year.

Hand Hygiene: Regular hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer will continue to be emphasized throughout the school year. Practicing safe hygiene helps prevent the spread of COVID and other illnesses we regularly encounter at school.

Increased Sanitation: McKenzie’s custodial staff will continue focusing on increased sanitation efforts throughout the buildings, playgrounds and other common areas. 

Air Purifiers: Thanks to a generous donation by BlueAir last year, McKenzie’s classrooms will continue to have HEPA filters in place during the year. This filtration can help ensure cleaner air for students and staff.

Increased Airflow: Buildings will continue to be opened up as much as possible, including doors and windows to get more fresh outdoor air circulated into classrooms.

Training: Regular training for staff regarding health and safety protocols will occur at the beginning of the year and regularly during the remainder of the school year.

Visitor Policy: Visitors must wear face coverings and check in at the office for health screening. Visitors will not be allowed in the building past the office. 

Quarantining and contact tracing: If we have a confirmed case of COVID at school, we will work directly with our district and Lane County Public Health to communicate with families. If students must quarantine, they will have access to class materials and assignments. 

Athletics COVID & Wildfire Smoke Protocols: McKenzie athletic teams will continue to follow OSAA recommended protocols during the season. Coaches and Administrators will regularly monitor air quality both indoors and outdoors to ensure safety from wildfire smoke exposure.

Weekly COVID Screenings: We will be offering weekly covid screening testing for interested families. More information to come soon. 

Safety Tips for Households
Here are 5 helpful tips from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) for safety as we head back to school.

  1. Make a plan to vaccinate all eligible household members. As school starts, help protect your child and their classmates, including those too young to get vaccinated, by making sure to vaccinate all eligible household members.
  2. Wear face coverings or masks in public and carpools. Face coverings effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the need to be quarantined and miss in-person learning.
  3. Limit gatherings with other households for now, including big events for kids, like birthday parties. If your kids have an early fall birthday, celebrate with just your household. You might consider postponing larger celebrations until the Delta variant’s rapid spread has subsided (plan a half-birthday bash!).
  4. Move social activities outdoors. To help minimize kids’ exposure to COVID-19, try to plan outdoor activities when possible, especially with other households.
  5. Make a plan if your child is going to need to miss class. Being prepared can make this difficult time easier and will help your child transition to and from the classroom. 
Thank You - The Hope Project
We welcomed back our teachers and staff to campus Monday!

A huge THANK YOU to the The Hope Project for bringing coffee, breakfast and amazing school supplies for each of our teachers.
This was the perfect kick-off to our school year as we look to welcome students back safely next week.

Project Overcome - Please Take This Survey
If you haven't already filled out this survey above, please fill it out! We know some of you filled it out at registration, so thank you.

As you know, McKenzie School District recently won a Project OVERCOME grant that aims to rebuild and improve internet services in the region. As part of the grant, researchers are looking to understand the positive benefits of better Internet services.

This survey will help move the wireless internet project ahead. But, first, they need to understand your interest in internet access and the available access to you and your household. 

There is no correct answer for any of these questions, and if there are any questions you prefer not to answer, you can leave them blank.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to complete this short survey and supporting community rebuilding. Selected participants may be contacted by the school with an offer of free internet.
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