Nevada says schools can reopen for summer school, activities including in-person instruction

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WCSD passes out homework packets to families without access to internet at locations around Reno and Sparks. Reno Gazette Journal

Schools in Nevada can open for summer school and activities including in-person instruction as long as students and staff can remain at least six feet apart.

The newest guidance from the Nevada Department of Education allows schools to open under guidelines that mandate social distancing and prioritizes educating students with learning gaps.  

But no singing, dancing, playing wind instruments and high risk sports, according to the state. 

The Nevada Department of Education said it is guiding districts on how to do in-person instruction in combination with distance learning. 

The memo from the state said, “In the interest of the health and safety of local communities, districts and schools may continue to keep school facilities closed to students, staff, parents, guardians, and/or the public at their discretion.”

The Washoe County School District has not immediately responded to a request for comment. The state said districts will have to submit plans on reopening for the 2020-21 school year at least 20 days ahead of the fall semester.

On Monday, the district said it was surveying parents, staff and students about how they would feel about returning to school in August. The district is also looking in to plans that would allow for half days and students returning to buildings a few days a week versus full time.

Read more: WCSD considering distance learning, other options for 2020-21 school year

“For the last three months, our students, families and educators demonstrated tremendous flexibility and resiliency when asked to stay at home and switch to distance learning to flatten the COVID-19 infection rate curve. I know this hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud Nevadans took this seriously,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said. “This directive will allow schools to return to a sense of normalcy while keeping the health and safety of students and staff at the forefront.”

The directive requires districts, charter schools, and private schools to develop plans for reopening school facilities for the 2020-21 school year based on Nevada’s Path Forward: A Framework for a Safe, Efficient, and Equitable Return to School Buildings or Framework. It also requires districts and schools to communicate plans to their school community, including parents and staff.

“The guidance released today provides districts and schools with the flexibility to make decisions about summer learning and activities based on their local circumstances,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert. 

News: DMV to reopen on June 15 in phased approach since COVID-19 outbreak

Siobhan McAndrew tells stories about the people of Northern Nevada and covers education in Washoe County. Read her journalism right here. Consider supporting her work by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal

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