April 30, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Several important decisions have been made this week by our Board of Trustees and the governor of our state. Therefore, we have several updates to communicate with you.
School Closure Update: Although there may be some private schools and small rural schools who are strongly considering or have already decided to reopen, our Board and administration believe that Nampa Schools cannot safely meet the governor’s or the State Board of Education’s guidelines for reopening. We have extensively reviewed both sets of directives and conclude, along with the surrounding districts, that it is not yet safe to return 14,000 students and 1,400 employees to work. Our Nampa Board of Trustees took action on Tuesday evening to remain in soft closure through the end of our school year.
Calendar: The Nampa School District Board of Trustees approved some changes to the current 19-20 school year calendar. Instruction for students will continue remotely through Friday, May 22. The following week (May 26-29) will be repurposed for the following activities: device collection, item pick up (instruments, contents of desks and lockers, yearbook distribution, novel and textbook collection, etc.). Individual schools will create timelines to ensure social distancing and safety protocols and will communicate with parents about the details and specifics for their site.
In addition to the end-of-year material collection and distribution, our teachers will be participating in additional professional development related to online instruction, standards-based grading, social-emotional learning and more. Individual schools also will use this time to plan forward for next year. Teachers would normally have participated in these types of activities throughout the last quarter but have been unable to with the transition to remote/online learning. We want to be prepared for whatever the fall may look like.
Graduation Plans: With the release of the governor's Four Phase Stages of Reopening: Idaho Rebounds, face-to-face graduation ceremonies during the month of May will no longer be possible. Our high schools will begin planning Senior Celebrations for the date in May originally schedule for graduation. (SHS - May 19; NHS - May 20; UHS - May 21; and CHS - May 22).
The governor's final phase ends on June 26, which then will allow large gatherings of people with fewer or no social distancing guidelines. We have tentatively secured the Idaho Center for Wednesday, July 1, as graduation day for CHS, NHS, and SHS. The Idaho Center has worked with several Treasure Valley high schools to graduate that week. We will share more details as they become available, particularly related to the time of day each high school will graduate. We are still working on securing a venue for UHS that week but are tentatively looking at June 30 as the date for their face-to-face graduation in the NNU Brandt Center. We are hopeful that this will allow our families and seniors to plan. If for some reason we are not able to graduate face-to-face on these tentative dates, our schools will plan for a virtual graduation ceremony.
Device Collection: As mentioned above, we are planning on collecting devices during the week of May 26-29. Your school will send detailed information about their specific plan soon.
Summer School: Summer school plans will be coming out soon. Again, after reviewing the Governor's plan, we are planning for summer school to be online.
Summer Food Service: Our summer meal service will continue through at least June 30. There will likely be some changes in times and places, but we will communicate this with you.
Other General Information: The district currently is working on possibilities for the fall. As you are aware, there are still many uncertainties about the fall and so our plans will include a lot of contingencies. In addition, all districts in the State of Idaho have been preparing for a 5% holdback of funds based on projected state revenues. We will continue to communicate our plans as we are able to confirm them.
Once again, our district (staff, students and parents) have been remarkable in our response to this situation. We anticipate that Nampa will continue to lead as we move forward into the fall.