NYSSA – After more than an hour of testimony from parents and educators, the Nyssa School Board voted to go forward with a plan to send students to the campus of Treasure Valley Community College for the Aug. 21 eclipse.
The vote came after concerns were raised by the over 40 in attendance concerning eye safety, stranger danger, lack of supervision and concern over travel route.
Leading the charge to keep the students on the Nyssa campus for the first day of school was Sara Savage, mother of five students and a fifth grade teacher at Nyssa Elementary.
“I risk losing my license if something happens to a kid,” Savage told the board. “The first day of school is critical to us as teachers and we are sending the kids off campus. This is just not the best plan for the first day of school.”
Savage said teachers in the Nyssa district are overtaxed with daily duties and calling on them to supervise students at TVCC was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“I can say none of my kids will be going that day,” Savage explained after the meeting, referring to her own children.
Board vice chairman Dennis Savage proposed delaying the start of school a day but got no support.
“We are aware of the inconvenience,” said Nyssa Superintendent Jana Iverson.
Iverson asked the audience to take into account this will be a once in a lifetime experience.
“It is like seeing Arlington Cemetery in books and then visiting it yourself,” Iverson said. “There is no way to feel the way you do until you actually visit the cemetery and feel what is there.”
Iverson said that parents will have the option to keep their child at school or home for the day instead of attending the TVCC event.
Iverson also said high school students will act as one-on-one chaperones for elementary students during the trip.
The college has set aside a separate area for students that will be fenced and have security.
A police escort will accompany Nyssa buses.
“I have a special needs student that is really looking forward to this day,” said one parent. “I think people in this audience are under estimating the children here in Nyssa.”