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!

Andy Gardner


New superintendent search is underway!

The Board is seeking input from the District's stakeholders through an online survey. Please take a moment to share your thoughts on your desired qualities and qualifications for our new superintendent. The survey closes on March 1, 2022.

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthSantiamSD2022

Spanish: https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthSantiamSD2022Spanish

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Weekly COVID screening program still going

As a reminder, the free OHA weekly saliva screening program for Oregon schools is still going. LabDash has made it even easier to sign up with online registration. You can use the links below to sign up. Testing kits are available in school offices and the tests are processed on Tuesdays. You can typically have an answer in the same day. For more information, you can go to the LabDash website.

Online Registration - English

Online Registration - Spanish

Upcoming Dates to Remember

The 2022-2023 school calendar has now been posted (staff calendar still being finalized) and can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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