NSSD COVID 19 Update

June, 18 2020

Superintendent Message

NSSD Parents:

Last week, the Oregon Department of Education released “Ready Schools, Safe Learners: Guidance for School Year 2020-21”. This Guidance, which will be further modified as we move through the summer months, is available on-line by clicking on the link provided above. We have received multiple inquiries from District parents about our plan. This letter’s purpose is to communicate with all District parents about our process to build a plan that responds to the Guidance. We understand clearly that parents will need to see their school’s plan before they can feel confident sending their children back to school, and we want everyone to understand that we are committed to communicating our plans as well as receiving your input as we build them. The District will be sending out surveys to parents this summer as planning moves forward, and your response will be appreciated. In addition, parents who are interested in providing feedback through focus groups can communicate their interest by e-mailing Tonia Whisman, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, at tonia.whisman@nsantiam.k12.or.us.

During these times, the District will be responding to more challenges than simply the disruption of the pandemic. The District will also be mindful of our under-served minority and poverty-disadvantaged students as we enter this work. While the District has taken strong steps to begin this work over the past few years, we acknowledge that we still have much work ahead of us; we can do better. Our planning will need to take into account the learning that all students have lost this spring, with specific attention to the need for more intensive support and practice for those students who have previously struggled and will have lost the most.

The COVID-19 virus will be present in our society during the coming school year without question, and our society’s tools to reduce the likelihood of infections are primarily limited to hygiene and physical distancing. Our focus in the next three months will be to develop plans that prioritize student and staff safety; our primary focus once school starts will be monitoring our schools closely until our procedures are normalized.

NSSD On-Line Option Available for Fall 2020

We are aware that even after our plan has been developed, some families will be reluctant to return their children to school. Beginning this fall (September 2020), the District will offer on-line schooling for grades K-12 using a curriculum structured by FuelEducation, a company that Stayton High School has worked with successfully for several years. We will use NSSD teaching staff for this purpose and are committed to providing the best experience that on-line instruction can offer. For-profit on-line charter schools often have class sizes above 40 students, and serve students far beyond the community that the school is chartered in. Our intent is to assign class sizes far lower than that, and by using our District’s teachers, also allow for local support if needed. Students attending with us on-line may still participate in District activities without fees. More information will be forthcoming as we develop registration processes, and we will communicate this information to all parents in the coming months.

As the 2019-20 school year draws to a close, we face the challenge to design a system for the upcoming year. I again want to thank you for all of the hard work this spring, and I know that together we can meet all of the challenges that the next year will bring. Bringing students back to our buildings safely is a massive undertaking, but it also represents a big step forward in our journey to where all kids and staff once again are part of a whole school community. We look forward to the time when those relationships can be resumed, and it motivates us to take every step possible to prepare for that day. Again, I acknowledge that this letter is short on specific details, but we will update you as we move towards a more concrete plan.


Andy Gardner

NSSD Superintendent

Chromebook Returns

We appreciate all the families that were able to return Chromebooks last week. If you still have a chromebook at home we would like it to be returned to the District Office by July 10. The office is open from 8:00-4:00. It is very important the District recovers as many Chromebooks as possible to have a Chromebook available for every student next Fall.

Summer Meals

Did you know that NSSD Grab & Go meal service is continuing through the summer? Times and locations remain the same until further notice.

Stayton Elementary: 9:30-10:30

Stayton Middle: 10:00-10:30

Sublimity: 10:45-11:15

Mari-Linn: 11:45-12:30