Since the beginning of the self-quarantine order, schools and students have had to adapt a lot. However, the cancellation of school also means the cancellation of school lunches served at noon and access to the internet for some students in the Camas School District. Fortunately, the District has enough funding and resources to continue offering these much-needed services to students and families in need.
In order to provide for students without reliable access to these necessities, School District Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell has worked with schools to devise plans to keep students healthy and engaged with academics.
“We have served about 40 students with childcare, and it’s gone really well,” Snell said. “We have a food pantry so that people can pick up any supplies they need. We have pickup locations at schools and drop-off locations that run bus routes. We found places in the community that seem to work well for people.”
And although he says that these services are usually provided through the summer, but currently, he is unsure if the state will be able to provide more after the end date of June 19.
Until then, the School District will continue to provide meals and packages to families with limited or no access to food and similar supplies.
“We’ve learned a lot about some of those services [over] the last four weeks,” Snell also said.
As well as providing much-needed nutrition for families who qualify for free or reduced lunch, the School District also has free Wi-Fi on buses. For more detailed information, visit the website or call 360-833-5432. The Wi-Fi hotspots only work with District devices; more specifically, school-issued Chromebooks.
“We’ve tried to position them in areas where people can park around,” says Snell, “There’s a grange by Fern Prairie that has been pretty popular for students who live up in the country and don’t have Comcast.”
Because of the increased demand for these services, bus drivers, nutrition specialists, and other similar employees are allowed to work. These programs allow for both employees and recipients of the services to benefit without being at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 or disobeying the social distancing order. However, the School District is unsure if they will be permitted to continue offering food and internet to families, as funding from the state is currently not a guarantee.