North Santiam School District

Message from Supt. Gardner

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January 18, 2022

Dear NSSD Families & Staff,

As promised, we are sharing with you the most recent contact tracing guidelines from OHA & ODE. Oregon will no longer consider masked contact in K-12 settings to be an exposure, regardless of distancing. The new recommendations are based on accumulated evidence that layered mitigation efforts in schools have worked well to minimize transmission and that the vast majority of transmission has occurred following indoor unmasked contact.

Here is how this all breaks down for students and staff:

Masked indoor close contact, regardless of distance, does not constitute exposure and does not require quarantine. This includes the following settings:

• School buses

• Classrooms, bathrooms, hallways

• School-related extracurricular activities (i.e. clubs, drama practice) where universal masking is implemented

Unmasked indoor close contact that occurs within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes constitutes exposure and warrants quarantine. This includes the following:

• Mealtimes when masks cannot be worn - can still participate in Test-To-Stay program

• Learning/curricular activities where masks may not be worn (i.e. band, choir, welding)

• School-related extracurricular activities where masks are not worn (athletics)

Moving on to school or class closures, we are encouraged that our first school closure (SHS) lasted only one day and that most of our ill teachers have bounced back quickly. We sincerely hope this will be our last experience with this but ask that our families remain at-the-ready. We will continue to walk the line between giving parents as much notice as possible and preemptively calling for an unnecessary closure that costs our students a day of instruction.

We want to make clear that Friday’s closure of SHS was not related to staff who were unwilling to report to work. In fact, as of 10 pm Thursday evening, we had SHS admin., two principals from other schools, our Assoc. Supt. and myself, all scheduled to teach classes on Friday. We then had a couple more illnesses develop overnight which took us to 15 teachers absent on Friday morning and it simply exceeded our ability to cover. Our District staff have had amazing attitudes this year when it has come to covering for absent co-workers. They’ve worked extra hours and have given up their prep time over and over again. We appreciate their work and dedication to keep our schools open.

Andy Gardner


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 NSSD calendar is available on the website by clicking HERE.

Jan 28, 2022 - NO SCHOOL, Grading Day - Term 1

Feb. 4, 2022 - NO SCHOOL - Teacher Professional Development Day

Feb. 12, 2022 - Stayton Boosters Auction

Feb. 21 - NO SCHOOL -Presidents Day

March 21-25 - NO SCHOOL - Spring Break