December 15, 2023
Hello NSSD Families,
We are pleased to announce that beginning January 2nd, 2024, breakfast and lunch will be free of charge to all students in our district! After going through a rigorous application process, students at Sublimity School, Locust St. Academy and Stayton High School will join students at Mari-Linn, Stayton Elementary, and Stayton Intermediate/Middle School in being eligible for a free breakfast and lunch through the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program. The CEP guidelines changed recently, which allowed all NSSD schools to qualify for the program. All our schools are now approved for this program through the 2026-27 school year.
Why is the student meal program so important?
We know that students who have their basic needs met, especially eating a good breakfast and lunch daily, function so much better at school. When students get the nutrition they need, they have the energy they need to focus much more effectively on their academic learning and skill development.
What does this mean for my NSSD student?
Your NSSD student can now eat their first full breakfast and first full lunch at school free of charge every day beginning January 2nd, 2024.
Can my student eat as much as they like for free?
Students can eat their first “full meal” (breakfast AND lunch) free of charge. If a student wants to eat a second breakfast or second lunch that day, the student will be required to pay for the second breakfast or second lunch.
If my student eats breakfast can they still eat lunch too?
Yes, students may eat their first full breakfast AND their first full lunch every day free of charge.
What is a “full meal”?
In order to qualify a meal as free, students will need to take all the necessary components served as a meal that day. For reference, students are required to take three of the five components (fruit, dairy, vegetables, meat, and grain) for breakfast, and one must be a fruit. For lunch, students must take three of the five components, and one must be a fruit or vegetable.
Can my student just get a milk, fries, or other a la carte item for free instead of a meal?
If a student doesn’t want a “full meal” of at least three of the five components outlined above, they will need to purchase any a la carte items, such as milk, entrees, and snack items (only available at the High School).
If my student wants to pay for an a la carte item, how can they do that?
Families can continue to make deposits to Mealtime or send cash/checks with their students to pay for these items.
Can my student charge an a la carte item or a second item to their account?
We will be turning off the option on MealTime that allows students to charge items without money in their accounts. This will eliminate any surprise negative balances and the stress that comes with that. This program encourages each student to eat a healthy, full meal, not just a la carte items.
Additionally, as our current meal prices fall well below the USDA requirements, we are required to raise the prices on second meals to match the federal meal requirements.
Beginning January 2nd, 2024, the new second meal prices will be:
K-8 Breakfast - $1.90 (Mari-Linn, Sublimity, SES, SIMS)
9-12 Breakfast - $2.00 (SHS)
K-8 Lunch - $3.65 (Mari-Linn, Sublimity, SES, SIMS)
9-12 Lunch - $3.75 (SHS)
We want to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to our Director of Nutrition Services, John Barnes, and his assistant, Jennifer Longfellow, who put in countless hours calculating, researching and submitting tons of paperwork to make this a reality!
Prepping for Inclement Weather
We are hoping for more mild weather this year but in the event that is not our reality, we want to share the process that we undergo each morning when making school delay or closure decisions. Here is what we do:
Watch the weather forecast 10 days ahead to determine which days, if any, we will need to drive and observe conditions.
Each day that the forecast calls for close to freezing temps in the early morning, we begin with a drive around the District.
Supt. Loving and other NSSD staff (and sometimes even a board member) depart their homes around 4:30 am and drive specific routes.
The routes include: all the school parking lots, each city, and most of the higher elevations in the district. These higher elevation areas include: Cole School Road, Sandner, Fern Ridge, Hwy 226, Hwy 22, Kingston-Lyons/Jordan, and part of McCully Mtn.
During this drive time, we are consulting with the MidCo Bus manager who is also monitoring conditions and providing feedback on what they are seeing.
Supt. Loving connects directly with other local school district superintendents to check on their conditions and plans for the day around 5:00-5:15am.
We also monitor Salem/Keizer's status as a large number of our teaching staff are coming from or driving through Salem.
In addition, another variable that makes this process even more complex, is the variety of elevations that exist within NSSD. Very often roads are clear in one part and slick or icy in others. This often creates frustration for some when there is a 2-hour delay but they look out their window and see clear roads.
Next, we start processing the following questions:
Can bus drivers safely travel their routes, knowing that the earliest pick-ups start around 6:15 am?
Can students safely travel to school (including student drivers and walkers)?
Are we confident the majority of staff can navigate to school (some as early as 6:00 am) so that buildings can function?
If the answers to one or more of these questions is NO, we work to determine if the conditions are reasonably expected/forecasted to change enough within 2 hours or if our school start times may allow conditions to shift so these questions can be answered affirmatively. If not, then the superintendent makes the decision to close. He does not make these decisions to delay or close school lightly knowing that delays, and especially closures, can be very disruptive to families and for some, cause real hardship. That said, we will continue to honor a family's decision to delay their student's departure to school if they feel the commute in their particular area remains unsafe.
We strive to deliver a closure/delay phone call, text and email no later than 5:30 am. Closure/delay information will also be posted on the district's Facebook page and website. Individuals may also sign up to receive FlashAlert.
NEW COMMUNITY UPDATE NEWSLETTER
The District Office will be closed Dec. 21-27, 2023 and Jan. 1, 2024. We wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and happiness this holiday season!
Upcoming School Calendar Events
THIS WEEKEND~ FESTIVAL OF TREES at SHS
Come see some lovely trees, enjoy yummy treats and take a photo with Santa!
January 2, 2024: Return from break
January 15, 2024: NO SCHOOL- Martin Luther King Jr Day
January 26, 2024: NO SCHOOL - Grading Day
February 2, 2024: NO SCHOOL- Teacher In-service Day
February19, 2024 : NO SCHOOL - Presidents Day
The 2023-2024 school calendar can be viewed by clicking HERE.