October 2, 2020 Update - English
Dear Nampa School District Parent or Guardian,
Our second week of hybrid learning is in the history books. As we continue to learn more about this method of instruction, we are beginning to establish some routines and patterns that are becoming more familiar to all of us. Your students have been amazing! They have learned and implemented safety procedures in the schools, classrooms, on the playgrounds and buses. They are making progress in their learning goals as well. Thank you for your support in working with them during the three days a week that they are “learning at home.” This time of practice, review and preparation at home is important so that we can ensure continuity of learning.
As you are probably aware, Southwest District Health has retained the ORANGE designation for Canyon County. There is a slight uptick in several indicators, probably as a result of Labor Day activities. For now, we are continuing in hybrid mode.
This week, we are trying to hit some commonly asked questions and to share with you some of the areas we are tweaking as we learn more.
What you can expect when a positive COVID-19 case occurs in your child’s school.
If someone associated with your child’s school tests positive for COVID-19, the district and Southwest District Health (SWDH) follow a specific protocol that is outlined below.
- We will “contract trace,” looking for any person who could be defined as a close contact during the 48 hours prior to the individual showing symptoms.
- A close contact is defined as anyone who has been within 6 feet of the infected person for more than 15 minutes (regardless of whether they are wearing a mask or not).
- If any close contacts are identified, they will be contacted by SWDH or NSD and be notified regarding quarantining. Generally, close contacts should expect a 14-day quarantine.
- A letter will be issued to all parents/staff in the building sharing the information that a person associated with your child’s school has tested positive. The letter will include any actions that the district has taken as a result of the positive test. This could include deep cleaning, disinfection of a bus, contact tracing, etc.
- A letter will NOT be issued if the infected person was not on campus during the 48 hours prior to symptoms. So, it could be possible that a person associated with your child’s school has tested positive for COVID-19; however, if they were not on campus and did not come into contact with anyone on campus, the district will not issue a letter.
- If you refer to the COVID dashboard on the District’s website (https://Nampa.School/Dashboard), you will see that if an individual (staff or student) is isolated or quarantined and cannot come to school, they will be reported among the numbers represented in the report.
- NOTE: The most current report shows 9 positive cases (1 employee and 8 students), and 42 people in quarantine (4 employees and 38 students).
- In order to protect individual identities, the district will NOT report COVID cases by building on this dashboard. (Remember, if there was a case in your child’s building and the person was present on campus, you have received a letter from the district). We will update this report weekly.
What is going well … and what we are working on tweaking.
- Nampa Online Virtual Academy. With the announcement moving NSD to a hybrid model, we had some movement of students. Some NOVA students returned to their home campuses, and some students who were wholly online at their home school moved to NOVA.
- Monday Expectations. Teachers continue to share outcomes for learning, assignments to demonstrate learning, assessment expectations and other information that is important for your student for the upcoming week.
- Fans and attendance at athletic events. We are working on expanding the number of fans that can be present at our athletic events. Starting on Monday of this week, we issued up to 4 tickets per student participant for family members. We will continue to make adjustments based on the context of the information shared by SWDH. Please remember that if we return to the RED category, we will have NO fans in attendance, only essential personnel.
- Students and attendance at athletic events. We have started working with our high school administration and student leaders in determining how we will begin to allow some students back as fans for our athletic events.
- Multiple platforms. We acknowledge that there are special challenges for families who have multiple children in multiple grade levels that are using multiple formats. We are uncertain how to rectify this issue completely. If you are still having issues with logging on to multiple formats, please connect with your teacher or call the Help Desk at (208) 468-4777.
- Close Contact Outside of School. Parties and get togethers happening outside of school have contributed to an increase in the number of NSD students who are quarantined because they were close contacts with a positive COVID-19 case at the occasion. In these cases, no letters were sent home to individual buildings since no contact was made at school. These students, however, are quarantined and these numbers will be reflected in dashboard updates.
- Strong Families, Strong Students. Governor Little has announced a plan that would provide up to $3,500 to qualifying families to support them with devices and connectivity. As more information becomes available, we will share details.
- Does anyone want to spend more time with their children while they are on campus? We are looking for individuals who would like to work for NSD (at your child’s school if you desire) as substitute or guest teachers.
Important Dates Coming Soon
- Oct 14: PSAT/SAT Day – This is a Wednesday. On this day, all sophomores and seniors are required to come to school to participate in this state-required test opportunity. All other students will be learning from home. The secondary busing schedule will transport sophomores and seniors to school and back home; busing for meal delivery may be affected.
- 16: Elementary professional development day/Secondary teacher work-day – No school for students.
- 20-22: High school and middle school parent-teacher conferences.
- 30: Elementary teacher work-day/Secondary professional development day – No school for students.
Social Emotional Learning Tip for the Week.
Our whole district is working on caring for the whole student, especially focusing on strengthening our knowledge around the social and emotional health of students and staff. This week’s tip comes from licensed social worker Keith Orchard, who is one of the experts working in the district to build our knowledge. Keith reminds us as parents that there are several key questions that we can ask ourselves as we seek to support and encourage our students.
- What are their strengths?
- What are they good at?
- What do they like?
- What do they want to be?
On this Friday, we once again offer our gratitude to our community and families for their support. This has not been an easy time for parents, students, staff or teachers. We have had many opportunities to disagree or at least agree to disagree. Yet the motive, the intent, behind each idea and comment is grounded in care for our children and their families. Thank you for sharing your feedback in thoughtful, positive ways. We are moving forward together a little at a time.
The district received a simple handwritten letter this week from the office of the Governor. The words were simple as they expressed appreciation to the staff of the Nampa School District for their proactive and creative responses in the midst of this crisis. If you have a moment this next week and if you have appreciated the efforts your teachers and staff have put forward – add to this voice and take a moment to drop them a quick line of thankfulness.
Dr. Paula Kellerer
Nampa School District