September 18 Update
Dear Parents and Guardians of the Nampa School District,
All aboard? Ready to set sail? Ready to get underway?
Although my experience with cruising is very limited, and perhaps the idea of an ocean cruise during a pandemic might not be appealing, I can imagine a few things.
Before the passengers arrive:
- The ship is prepared and cleaned.
- Preparations related to room organization and traffic flow are made and clearly signed.
- Chefs and other staff are creating menus, purchasing food and preparing the process of serving food.
- Preparation for daily activities and shore excursions are finalized.
- Last-minute details on how to board are shared with passengers.
When the passengers arrive, they are required to participate in several safety reviews before the ship can actually leave the harbor.
Here are the parallels that I see with our current situation as students, parents and staff prepare to embark on our journey with hybrid learning.
Before our students arrive, our teachers have …
- Worked to establish and build relationships with their students.
- Developed routines and expectations for wholly online instruction. Some of these routines will continue (morning meetings at the elementary level), and some will change due to our move to hybrid.
- Posted weekly expectations, developed lessons, collected evidence of learning and assessed student progress as they began to teach our essential standards.
- Prepared lessons that will be delivered through a hybrid approach
- Reviewed Individualized Education Program plans (IEPs) and created Individualized Digital Learning Plans (IDLPs) for each student on an IEP, working with parents and other professionals.
Before our students arrive, our staff have ...
- Thoroughly cleaned and sanitized our buildings and classrooms.
- Prepared busing and safe routes to school.
- Planned menus and started ordering necessary supplies and groceries.
- Applied for federal waivers so that all students can access free meals.
- Purchased, secured and prepared personal protective equipment (PPE).
Because of this, we are now ready for passengers (students) to return to our campuses in a hybrid model.
Like the cruise lines, we would love to take a moment to review our safety protocols – those things that we have carefully considered to ensure that all students, staff and families are as safe as we can be as we return students to school.
Here are our pre-boarding instructions as we embark on hybrid instruction:
- Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. We also will have hand sanitizer available for students and staff.
- Physical distancing to the extent that is possible (specific traffic patterns, desks 6 feet apart when we can, staggered times, etc.).
- Face masks. We are requiring that both staff and students war face masks while they are on NSD campuses. As we have shared before, the only exception to this for students is a documented medical condition through either a 504 process or IEP process.
- Respiratory hygiene (coughing and sneezing into elbow or shoulder).
- Keep your children at home and contact your school nurse if they…
- Are not feeling well.
- Have been determined to be a “close contact” with someone who has tested positive. Close contact is defined as within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or more, even if they are wearing a mask.
- Share with your school nurse if your child has been tested for COVID-19.
Andy Grover, the current executive director of Idaho Association of School Administrators (IASA) recently stated that the biggest challenge facing districts this fall is not opening schools, but keeping schools open. With these common precautions, we can move forward together as a district and work together to keep our schools open, keep our students and staff healthy, keep our athletes on the field and in our gyms, and eventually have all of our students back on our campuses at the same time.
Finally, we want to recognize that families and staff are facing multiple barriers and concerns at this time. As we can, we are working through individual concerns. As you experience barriers that seem insurmountable, please reach out to your administrator so we can explore options together.
Unfortunately, there is one area that we have explored and cannot make work on a districtwide basis. While we are in hybrid, our teachers CANNOT continue providing wholly online instruction to those students who are not yet comfortable coming back to school. If this is your student, we need you to register for NOVA so that we can continue educating your student. When your family feels more comfortable with face-to-face learning, we encourage you to connect with your home school administrator and work out a fluid plan for transition back to your home school.
Now for the basics – What will happen next week?
- Weekly Expectations.Your teachers will continue to post the weekly expectations on or before Monday morning. This will include activities to be accomplished at school and work to be accomplished at home.
- Which days does my student attend?X (BLUE) students are those whose last names begin with A-L. You will attend on Monday and Thursday each week. Y(GOLD) students are those whose last names begin with M-Z. You will attend on Tuesday and Friday each week. If there is an exception, you have already been notified. Call your school if you are still not sure, or check PowerSchool.
- Buses will run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Check with Brown Bus for specific route times. Transfer buses between high schools will run before school, after second period, after fourth period, after sixth period and after school.
- Breakfast and lunch will be served on campus. Those students who are learning at home are welcome to come to school to pick up breakfast and lunch and take it home. On Wednesdays, meals are available to all students and the district will run a limited bus route to help get more meals out to students.
- IEP, 504, and CTE students, as well as students who need extra support can, by invitation, be invited to participate at school on Wednesdays. Teachers will contact students if this is the case. Other than these exceptions, students will be working on assignments and projects at home and catching up on previous work.
- Athletics and fans.We had a great first week of competitions for our high school student athletes. As a reminder, each athlete has the ability to identify two family members to receive tickets to the competition. Your high school has shared how to pay for the tickets online. In some cases, we will have a card reader at the gate, but we cannot accept cash at this time. Masks are required when you cannot maintain 6 feet physical distancing at outside venues. They need to be worn upon entering the arena to protect our gate workers. Please sit physically distant from other family groups. For all indoor venues, masks are required regardless of the ability to physically distance. For information on fan participation at away games, please connect with your school AD or coach. Remember, our ability to stay open is strengthened as we work together to implement these safety precautions.
Together, we can move forward.
Together, we can offer grace and support to each other.
Together, we are the Nampa School District.
Dr. Paula Kellerer
Nampa School District