Dear School of the Osage Students, Families, and Community- 
 
To date, this school year has been filled with its share of joys and challenges. When I pause to think about it, the same can be said of this past week.
 
There is no playbook for navigating the issues that 2020 and 2021 have caused in every sector of our community, the state, and the nation. Students and teachers have more pressure on them than ever. But in our district they have risen to the occasion. They have accomplished more than most dreamed possible back in August. But it hasn’t been easy by any means. A teacher recently shared what this pressure feels like:
                                               
My students need to learn.

This means it is up to me to teach through a pandemic.

It is up to me to teach through politics. 

It is up to me to teach through rumors.

IT IS UP TO ME.                      
                       
The four day seated/1 day distance schedule we have been on this year has provided a way for teachers to work, plan, and collaborate with a focused intensity on Mondays- so that YOUR STUDENTS can learn and grow at an impressive pace-regardless of the pressure of the times. This was a big change, a productive change. It was a change that brought about increased student engagement in learning and decreases in student discipline. 
 
Moving forward, we do not look for the pressure to decrease. We know this all causes a tremendous amount of pressure on YOU. We have multiple strategies in place to support families and are always open to new ideas.  We take very seriously the task of working within the state requirements to ensure Osage students learn at high levels. We are required by the state of Missouri to have a calendar that includes 1,044 hours. There are so many ways to accomplish this. We have been looking at two framework options. At our Board of Education meeting earlier this week, a spirited discussion was held regarding the options. The slidedeck from the meeting is attached to this email. You can also click here to access a screencast of the slidedeck, and you click here to view a video of the Osage response to education in 2020-2021. If you have questions or would be interested in having me or a member of our leadership team present information to your business or group, do not hesitate to reach out to me. 
 

  • School is cancelled tomorrow due to poor road conditions and inclement weather. This marks our 5 “traditional snow days.” Any additional cancellations will be designated distance learning days, and students and teachers will use Canvas, Zoom, and Remind as they do on distance learning Mondays. You can look forward to more reminders from your students’ school(s) about this topic. 
  • Spring practices start March 1. Click here for the spring coaches contact list and Fan Plan. It is very important- students who wish to participate in dual sports this spring must submit a dual sports application. Remind your student to stop by the athletic office by Monday, February 15th in order to ensure he/she is on track to qualify.  
  • Please note Monday, February 15th is a holiday and there will be no childcare services or distance learning.
  • Even though spectator guidelines have been adjusted and attendance restrictions eased, we will continue to stream sporting events as we have been doing. 
  • We care about having Punga/Prom as much as you do. Currently, we are investigating options, will be working with student leaders, and will have more information out by the end of the month.
  • To check out Senior Excellence, The Osage Way - click here.
  • Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences will be Monday, February 22 (11 am -7 pm). Conferences will be held via online zoom meetings - click here to sign up. There will be no childcare services or distance learning on February 22. 
  • OHS Theatre presents: The Curious Savage. Show dates/times are February 25-27 at 7:00 pm -for more information, click here.
  • A huge thanks to students, staff, families, and the community for all you are doing to help keep COVID at bay. Check out our COVID dashboard by clicking here.

Be Well.
Sincerely, 

Dr. Laura Nelson
Superintendent 
[email protected] 
 
*Indian Support Hotline: 
573-552-8878 or [email protected] 
 
OHS- 573-348-0115
OMS- 573-552-8326
UE-573-348-0004
HE- 573-365-5341
ECC-573-552-8899
 
Additional Community Support Resources:
Hope House Food Pantry at (573) 365-0099
Camden County Community Assistance Hotline at (573) 346-6145  
Miller County Community Assistance Hotline at (573) 692-0426