Dear Nyssa School District Employees,

The Governor’s Office announced yesterday that schools will remain closed through April 28, 2020. As you know, this creates a lot of uncertainty for everyone: staff, students, parents, and community.

The Nyssa School District (NSD) is in the process of developing plans to supplement the education of our students during this closure. The highest priority will be given to current Seniors so that they can meet all graduation requirements, but please know that we will be putting plans together to serve all children.

What does this mean for employees? All employees will be required to report to work beginning March 30, 2020. Based on the governor's guidelines, we are not able to have students in our schools for tutoring or teaching, so teachers will be learning how to provide online teaching, reaching out to students via phone calls, making data packets, helping with delivery of meals to different locations, and some classified personnel will be asked to provide childcare on a rotating basis for any children of medical personnel or first responders who are needed to help with the COVID-19 response, which was part of the governor's guidelines yesterday.

Additional information will be forthcoming as we develop viable strategies for students and their families to meet the educational needs of their children. This will undoubtedly need to be a partnership between our staff and the families we serve. Many of our students do not have internet (WiFi) at home so we will be assessing how to get connectivity to all students so they can access teachers via email, or online learning of some sort.

We are seeking clarification on a number of issues from the Oregon Department of Education (what to do with Special Education students, what about state testing, graduation credits, graduation ceremony, school board meetings, etc.). We will keep our parents and community updated as we know more.  

NSD, along with community partners, will continue to provide breakfast and lunches for students from March 30-April 28.  Instead of delivering food to homes as we have been doing, we will have different locations around the city of Nyssa where students can go to obtain food, beginning March 30.  We will post these locations in an upcoming letter. This program is for all children in our community 18 years old and younger. 

 I will continue to update our families, staff and community as further information is disseminated from State authorities. This is a time when we are being asked to sacrifice. Our children and families will not be able to experience many opportunities that they have worked so hard to achieve. Our Spring sports athletes will not be able to compete in their chosen sport, and for our seniors, this was their last opportunity for high school competition.  This is difficult for them. However, we will make sure that all students who will be continuing their college education will meet the requirements for college and athletic participation.

I am appreciative of how our community is pulling together to address these challenges in this really difficult time. Thank you for your help and stay tuned!

Darren Johnson