Eagle Leaders Letter

A Weekly Message from SHS Administration | 10-2-20

One Week In

I taped a quote near my desk recently: “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen” (Brené Brown). It was supposed to serve as a reminder for myself heading into this school year. But what I’ve witnessed all week, as school is back in session virtually at SHS, are staff and students doing exactly that: being courageous by taking chances, remaining positive despite the challenges, asking for help, and (especially when cameras are on) letting themselves be seen...which is not always easy.

Our first days of distance learning have been rocky at times, and we’ve had technical difficulties and security issues and other bumps. But we’ve also reconnected with each other and jumped back into our subjects and laughed a bit and regained some normalcy. And for all of that--and the courage it has taken--I am so proud of our SHS staff and of our students.

We have often heard the word grace since last spring. ODE urged it, and many districts use it now as they encourage teachers to extend patience with students navigating a new style of learning. But honestly, the grace our students and parents have extended to us as we scramble to get the school year going has been remarkable. Thank you for trusting us to get this right. Until we get to have our students back in our hallways, classrooms, fields, gym, and stage, we will do our best to serve them from a distance.

Student Safety

Ensuring the safety and well-being of our students is critical. One tool we use to monitor and address safety concerns is Bark, a security feature attached to student email accounts. Bark is activated when students are logged in to a school-issued Chromebook or to their school Gmail apps. When a student uses their account to search or generate material violating our policies or indicating that they may need help, SHS administration is alerted.

Another tool we rely on, and which you may help us with if you have concerns about someone, is SafeOregon. Since students are not physically with us, it is more important than ever that we are notified of dangerous behaviors. Parents and students may report a tip using this system by calling or texting 844-472-3367. This resource is monitored by the Oregon State Police and allows SHS administration to receive immediate notifications. Note that tips can be made anonymously, but they are most helpful when they contain the full name of the student you are concerned about.

Auditions Coming!

Auditions for the virtual fall play are coming soon, and there are roles available for up to 30 students! Rehearsals and performance will be conducted in Zoom and feature a brand-new collection of monologues and duo scenes, both comic and serious. The subject matter is "The Pandemic."

A meeting next week will cover the format for auditions. Contact Mr. Conley (les.conley@nsantiam.k12.or.us) as soon as possible for more information.

Athletics Updates

The start of the official school year brings many questions in relation to athletics. Will there be a season this year? Are practices happening? What do I need to do in order to participate? Are there any fees? Who do I contact with my questions surrounding athletics?

Right now, the plan sent out by the OSAA has sports and activities starting in January. All seasons will be shorter than in previous years, but, at least right now, everything, including football and wrestling, is a go. It is an encouraging sign that the Pac 12 schools have decided to resume their football season, but we will see if that trickles down to the high school level. Other states are currently playing, so how those seasons go should give us a pretty good indicator as to whether or not we will be able to play.

Practices in many sports and activities have begun this week. If you are not sure about your particular sport, check with the head coach. Head coach emails can be found on the district website under Stayton High School Athletics or by contacting the main office. In order to participate, athletes need to have registered for school, filled out the athletic participation form, have a current physical on file, and have a signed SHS Code of Conduct on file. There are no "pay to play" fees at Stayton High School. Our School Board and Superintendent Gardner worked very hard to make that happen last year, and we have no plans to change that.

Emily Hendricks is our new athletic secretary in the main office, and she is fantastic. You can contact her by phone 503-769-2171 or by email at emily.hendricks@nsantiam.k12.or.us with your questions. You can also reach out to Athletic Director Darren Shryock by phone or email at darren.shryock@nsantiam.k12.or.us.

We will get through this. One thing we all know about Stayton Eagles is that they are resilient! Go Eagles!