North Santiam School District
February 9, 2021
Message from the Superintendent
The District will be shifting its tentative start date to move to the Hybrid Model for instruction to Monday, March 1st. This date is one week later than was communicated last month. At that time, the District was unaware that the second round of COVID vaccines would occur on February 20th. The District had multiple staff members experience effects from the first vaccination, and research shows the second dose creates stronger reactions in a greater percentage of recipients. The District does not have the substitutes available to run in-person school in the days following the second dose if the expected side effects occur.
The District intends to continue with Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) with Limited In-Person Instruction groups through February 19th. The District will continue with Comprehensive Distance Learning on Feb. 22nd and 23rd but with no in-person learning in schools. There will be no school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Feb. 24th- 26th) as staff prepares for Hybrid learning the following week. During those three days, safety procedures will be verified, buildings will be thoroughly cleaned and multi-facted preparations will be made in classrooms for students to return. Students who do not wish to return to Hybrid instruction on March 1st may continue to access instruction remotely from home.
Each building will be communicating its schedule and cohort membership separately. Buses will continue to run separately for each building. The District will be shifting its food services as well to accommodate the return to in-person instruction. Further information will be sent out when it is developed.
The Oregon Health Authority’s Risk Level Metrics: Schools and Counties shows a steady improvement in infection rates since mid-January. The two-week period (Jan. 24-Feb. 6) shows that Marion County’s case rate has declined to 288 per 100,000. Linn County has declined to 166 per 100,000 over the same period. While these numbers are hopeful, we want to emphasize how important it will be for families to continue to support public health practices such as social distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks. Surges in infections have come when people begin to relax, so we are asking families to continue to be diligent. A single case at our high school could result in a quarantine of four classrooms of students and multiple staff, making in-person extremely difficult. Returning to in-person school depends on all of us: students, families, and staff.
Finally, we want to emphasize that even though March 1st is our date for returning to school, the factors that currently make this possible are subject to change. We are particularly monitoring the progress of the COVID variants. Should a general increase in infections occur, it is possible that schools could remain in CDL for a longer period of time. We want to be clear, though, that we are optimistic that a return to school is coming, and even if there is a delay.
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School Calendar Change
- No School on Feb 24, 25 & 26
- Mid-term grading day (no school) is moved from April 9 to April 16
- Early Release day is moved from April 15 to April 22
- Conference Payback day (no school) is moved from April 16 to April 23
- SHS Graduation has been added to the calendar for June 11