North Santiam School District
Message from Supt. Gardner
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February 24, 2022
Dear NSSD Families & Staff,
The NSSD Board of Directors voted last Thursday, February 17 to move to mask-optional when the State of Oregon lifts the mandate in schools. The Oregon Department of Education released a new statement today indicating that masks will become optional in schools as of March 19, 2022, moving it up from the previous date of March 31st. In addition to the vote on masks, the Board also approved a motion to send a letter to Gov. Brown asking her to return responsibility and control for health measures back to local decision-makers. You can read their letter in the next section of this newsletter.
The District will continue its current work to prepare our employees and students to safely move to a mask-optional environment. We are working to prepare plans for our immunocompromised students and the staff who work directly with them. At the same time, we are working with our employee unions to adjust requirements for unvaccinated staff and to create a plan for volunteers to enter our buildings. The District will communicate as these plans are developed.
School leaders have been in communication with ODE regarding new requirements once we move to mask-optional. These are still being developed, but today's statement did contain the following:
"Based on the feedback from local leaders and communities, OHA and ODE are also partnering to develop practical updates to safety protocols for quarantines, contact tracing, and testing that meet the current conditions of the pandemic. These guidelines will continue to support our North Star goal of providing in-person learning for every student, all day, every school day and will focus on specific supports for students, staff, and families that may be at more risk from COVID-19 than others in the school population. Once decisions are finalized, updates to the RSSL Resiliency Framework, and other resources will be shared early next week."
Once we have this information, we will share it out to everyone. We are excited at the prospect of a more normal school environment this spring. We want to thank all of our families and staff for the endless work it took to make school happen these last six months. We look forward to seeing student faces when we return from Spring Break!
New superintendent search is underway!
Weekly COVID screening program still going
Upcoming Dates to Remember
March 21-25 - NO SCHOOL - Spring Break
April 8, 2022 - NO SCHOOL - Grading Day
April 11-14, 2022 - Parent/Teacher Conferences Occur
April 14, 2022 - EARLY RELEASE (times vary by school)
April 15, 2022- NO SCHOOL - Conference Hours Payback
May 30, 2022 - NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day