March 19, 2020
I hope you are all doing well and hanging in there. These are unprecedented times that we are living in and that means we are going to have to be prepared for unprecedented thoughts and solutions to situations we do not fully comprehend. I have become aware of several new concepts and realities that have completely transitioned my understanding of what is required of schools by the Governor’s Executive Order. It has also enlightened me on what staff cannot do when it comes to education and what is meant by supplementary.
The Oregon Department of Education is trying to keep us all updated, however, things are changing daily. We have been using the website for commonly asked questions to help us learn and answer questions ourselves. https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Pages/COVID-19-FAQ.aspx
The North Powder School District has been providing nutrition services, and will continue to do so. This is for children one year old to eighteen years old and is a free meal that is being served outside of the cafeteria. We will take the week of spring vacation off, but will continue with this service on Monday, March 30th.
One of the orders from the Department of Education is providing supplemental education. We have been trying to define what supplemental education means. We are hoping over break that this becomes more clear from the Department of Education and our plan is to be in touch with our families after Spring Break. However, we are looking into a check-out system of Chromebooks after break, if your child needs a device. Also, if you have not already taken the survey that Mrs. Smith sent out, please do so. https://forms.gle/wo3AszBCgg8BAkyu7
We are trying to communicate with families via e-mail, our school website, Schoolmessenger via phone calls, and our facebook page. If you are not receiving e-mails from the school, please e-mail Mrs. Smith and she will get you added to the system.
Our goal, as well as the State’s goal, is to focus on our senior students first, then high-school students, as well as the rest of our students. They all are important, yet seniors have the most at stake now. Senior families, Mr. Dixon and Mrs. Smith will be calling you the week after Spring Vacation to share what we know and see what worries you may have. The State Board of Education is currently in meetings with the Governor to get kids to graduation. Thus, our guidance will come from them.
For quarter 3, we would like to have our last week of school, March 12th, be the end of the quarter. When you receive your child’s report card, if you are not happy with the grade your child currently has, your child may have the opportunity at a later date to make up that work. It may have been that a student was absent and missed a few assignments, or that a child was currently revising an assignment, and once the revisions are turned in, the grade could raise. This is not a perfect scenario, but the best case scenario in light of our current state of affairs.
Please remember that the local food bank is open on Fridays. We are working on getting the backpack program deliveries, so we can get those to families who currently receive them. If you have other needs, we are currently gathering a list of help so we can assist you. Please let us know if you do have a need, and we will try and connect you. And finally, we are also working on a plan for our students to continue receiving mental health help.
Finally, we really, really miss our students and staff. We cannot wait until the day that are hallways are filled with our students and we are back to business as usual. Until then, we are here for you. Feel free to call Mrs. Smith at home at 541.524.9866, work at 541.898.2244 ext. 8835, or e-mail her at molly.smithnpowdersd.org.