Update from Mr. Dixon - September 2, 2020

P.O. Box 10 - 333 G Street

North Powder, OR  97867

Phone 541-898-2244    FAX 541-898-2046

  September 2, 2020

Dear North Powder School District Parents and Caregivers,

This week marks what we are calling the “soft start’ to our school year, which is on Thursday. It seems like an eternity since we have had students onsite, staff all here and some semblance of school as normal. However, students are showing up this week to pick up technology, meet teachers, begin conditioning and skills drills for sports and a variety of other activities to get us ready for classes next week. It is extremely exciting, but also a little concerning.

For weeks and months we have planned and replanned. Now just as we are on the precipice of school, some concerns are rising. The case count in Union County has slowly increased. If things get severe it will impact us, but there is a bright lining. Since we have started bringing students in, our focus now centers around keeping the cases out of our school or at least managing any situation that arises. To do this we have to remain vigilant and cautious. To accomplish this here are some things you should know and adhere to:

  • Please do not send sick children to school. The primary signs of Covid are cough, fever (greater than 100.4), chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.  If your child displays these symptoms they will be evaluated and sent home if necessary.

  • Children will be visually screened as they get on the bus and again when they arrive at school.

  •  Students will be allowed in the buildings at 7:35. Students will go straight to their home rooms and have breakfast brought to them.

  • Please make sure your child wears a mask or face covering. We have purchased face coverings for each student that will be kept at school.  We also have disposable ones as well.  These are required and failure by the student to wear one will lead to the student being placed in a comprehensive distance learning (CDL) environment until such time as they comply with the rule. Regardless of personal feelings, the district has a responsibility to try and keep all staff and students safe, which allows us to stay in onsite instruction. Any ADA and IDEA issues will be evaluated as needed.

  • Understand that if there is a confirmed case of Covid-19, the cohort that student or students are from will be asked to stay home (quarantined) until cleared by the Union County Health Authority. Example: Second grade has a confirmed case- all students and the teacher will stay home, do distance education and return to school when okayed by the health authority. Should we be forced into CDL , we will issue Chromebooks the next day or as soon as possible. 

  • On the days your high school child is home, they are expected to be online each period with their teacher. If they cannot be online for some reason, it is their responsibility to contact their teacher via email, text message or a phone call for attendance purposes.

  • Initially lockers will not be issued until we get cleaning schedules and cohort issues resolved after students show up on site.  Students will be allowed to use backpacks this year to transport their books and other resources in.

  • While I know there is excitement about sports and other extracurricular activities starting back up, we have to remember that crowds will be limited, masks will be required by all spectators at indoor and outdoor events initially, and we can only keep participating if we are in onsite/hybrid instruction. This means if we are forced back to CDL, there will not be any competitions until the district can come back to an onsite/hybrid setting.

As excited as we are and you are to have your children back in school, we need your help and support to keep them here. Please adhere to the rules and expectations of the district. Please understand that this is difficult for all of us and your children, but at the end of the day it is about keeping them in school and active with activities. Please understand staff are only enforcing state guidelines in order to keep kids onsite. Most of all, please understand that we want the best for your children and we know that in school is better than what will occur when they are not here onsite. 

Take care and thanks for entrusting your children to us.  We have great kids, great families and a great community.  We are extremely excited to be able to work with your children face to face again. We are finally here, we did it together and together we can keep them in school.

We know there are a lot of changes.  We will host a question and answer session on Thursday, September 3rd at 4:00 p.m.  We will host another one the following week on Wednesday, September 9th at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. The link is as follows:

Molly Smith is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Q and A with families

Time: Sep 3, 2020 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 819 3151 5113

Passcode: 083942

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Lance L. Dixon


Molly Smith