“I can’t smell or taste.” Those were words I did not expect to hear as Renee and I were planning to go visit our daughter and her family in Florida. Sure enough, Renee and I tested positive for Covid. Thank God we had a very mild case of the virus. Our trip had to be postponed, but we are both grateful to be on the mend and void of any significant effects.
The pandemic continues to cause concern at NSD. As with the county numbers in general, our numbers among staff members are up right now. We continue to be vigilant in our mask wearing and social distancing. Our number one goal remains staying in school and keeping all students and team members as safe as possible. We appreciate the support we have received from the community as we work together to serve our students. I could not be more proud of the effort given by NSD team members this year in the face of extremely challenging circumstances.
Our nurses were provided the opportunity to receive their first Covid vaccine shot this week. The roll out of the vaccine for all education personnel appears to still be a few weeks away. We will be surveying the NSD team in the next week or so to determine how many will be taking the vaccine. Based upon some area data from the healthcare field, we are expecting 50-65% of our staff will take the vaccine. This will mean somewhere around 400 people will be getting vaccinated. This is going to take planning and coordination with local healthcare providers. We are looking at the possibility of cancelling school on a Friday in order to handle the logistics of delivering the vaccine, and providing the weekend for any mild effects to subside. We will be issuing more information as we receive it from the state.
We are hopeful that we are starting to see a path by which we can start thinking about normalcy. As we begin working on our school calendar for next year, and looking toward our start date of August 23, if you have any strong opinions about our current calendar, please reach out to an NSD team member. Presently, we are not looking at any significant changes to the calendar structure; similar PLC dates, spring break aligned with Crowder College, and school ending on May 20 or May 27.
Finally, for our friends who like to walk the track, we have some updated information. The camera system should go in this week. We will be sharing information on how the public can pick up an access card that will get them into the stadium. We will have to interrupt the track usage in the late spring for the resurfacing; however, until then we will open the track up. Thank you for your patience.
Let’s keep praying for an excellent 2021 and unite around the great things that are happening in our community! Be well. Dr. Cummins
-Dr. Jim Cummins is the Neosho Superintendent of Schools.