North Santiam School District

September 13, 2021

Message from Supt Gardner

Dear NSSD Families:

As we begin our second week, we want to express our appreciation to all of our families for their willingness to collectively work towards our goal of in-person instruction for students this year. This past week, students and staff have done a fantastic job of adhering to our guidelines. We are continuing to monitor our students and staff, where several new cases have been identified. We hope to see that spread has not occurred in those classrooms and will be watching closely this week.

Parent Contact for COVID Cases

The District will be sending out notifications to families who have a student in a classroom where a positive case has been identified. This notification is intended to raise families’ awareness so that they can closely monitor their child from the classroom in which the case occurred. It is not a notification of exposure. Students who may have been exposed would be notified through contact tracing by District nurses. By sending the broader notification, we hope to arrest further spread in a classroom. Should you receive a notification, it is very important that you closely monitor your child for symptoms and notify the school if symptoms develop. Here is a link to our current guidance for when students should remain at home. Our schools, and our success in keeping them open, rest squarely on the close cooperation and communication between parents and staff.

Testing for students

The District has opted in to the free screening program offered to all Oregon K-12 students by the Oregon Health Authority. This is an optional weekly saliva at-home COVID screening test that parents can choose to sign their students up for. Participation in the program and all results are confidential, however, positive COVID-19 results must be reported to the local public health authority for case investigation and contact tracing. Parents can find more info and the consent form on the District Website by emailing Santiam Hospital at scope@santiamhospital.org. Please note this is a screening program so parents who wish to test their child as the result of contact tracing or a class-wide notification will need to contact their health care provider. As more testing sites become available locally, we will send more information.

School Breakfast and Lunch

The District is experiencing challenges in obtaining some food items which normally allow choice for students. Mike Vetter, our Food Service Director, is doing an outstanding job of being nimble and adapting, but some food items will not be able to be served periodically, and some meals may have fewer choices for students. We ask for your understanding and support with this.

Contact Tracing in Classes

Our intent will be to keep school open in person if at all possible. Remember that when students remain three or more feet away and both are wearing well-fitting masks, they will not require contact tracing. Should we see multiple cases in a classroom, the District will work with Marion County Public Health to determine if a classroom or a school would need to move to distance learning for a period of time. These plans may vary somewhat and will be determined by whether the teacher is quarantined or is a positive case along with the number of cases in a classroom. Our intent is that when we do this, it will be a short-term break followed by a return to in-person instruction.

Middle School Athletics

We face several challenges this fall with middle school sports due to shortages of bus drivers, sports officials, other school districts cancelling away games and in some cases student turnout for our programs. Schools with middle school grades will be communicating sports updates regularly. We ask for your flexibility as we adjust our schedules.

High School Athletic Events

We ask again that parents and students at home athletic events wear a mask when in the grandstands. Our focus is to keep people safe, but also to keep our schools open—and keep our teams intact. Generally, it is between one week and two weeks before we begin to look back and see that an event caused spread. By then, it is too late.

We know how critical an in-person school year is to our kids. Help us to keep that going!


Andy Gardner

NSSD Superintendent

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2021-22 School Calendar

The NSSD calendar is available on the website by clicking HERE.

Upcoming Dates To Remember:

Oct. 8 - NO SCHOOL, Teacher In-Service Day

Nov. 5 - NO SCHOOL, Grading Day

Nov. 10 - EARLY RELEASE (times vary by school)

Nov. 11 - NO SCHOOL, Veterans' Day

Nov. 12 - NO SCHOOL, school conferences

Student Accident & Sickness Coverage Available For Purchase Now

If you have any questions concerning the coverages available, COVID 19 adjustments or need help with enrollment, please call Myers-Stevens & Toohey at (800) 827-4695. Bilingual representatives are available for parents who need assistance in Spanish. Parents can click on the link below for online enrollment.