July 15, 2020
Dear Nye County School District Parents,
On Monday, our School Board approved the Nye County School District’s COVID-19 Re-Entry Plan. This plan lays out the three options for returning students and staff to school safely, and the district’s current plan for the start of school. The three options are as follows:
- 100% In-Person
- Students return to class full time with appropriate safety precautions.
- Students return to class two days a week (Mondays & Wednesday or Tuesdays and Thursdays) and participate in distance learning three days a week.
- Distance Learning
- Students participate in distance learning full time.
These options must be flexible, and we need to be prepared to move among each of them as dictated by state mandates or our student/staff health. To provide our teachers with the necessary professional development to teach in these options, our students’ first day of class has been delayed until Monday, August 24, with Pre-K and K students beginning on Thursday, August 27. These plans were chosen based upon the feedback we received from our parent/ teacher surveys, administrator feedback, and CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines. Below are our plans for student attendance at the start of school:
- PK-5 students
- 100% In-Person
- Grades 4 & 5 may move to Hybrid if necessary to meet state occupancy requirements
- Remote rural middle and high schools
- 100% In-Person
- Students with an IEP
- 100% In-Person (as appropriate)
- Rosemary Clarke Middle School
- Pahrump High School
- Option for all families
- Distance Learning (must have Internet access & student must maintain progress)
Please know the health and safety of everyone is of the utmost importance to all of us as we try to balance safety with the need and desire to return students back to school. We understand having students back in the classroom where they can work face-to-face with their teachers is the ultimate goal; this is where we know students have the best opportunity for success. We will continue to work toward that goal of having all students back in the classroom as soon as it is determined to be safe for all involved.
Our plan today may need to change before school starts based upon any directives from the state or if there is a drastic increase in the number of cases in Nye County. These plans also could change based upon the actual number of students whose parents choose 100% online. Our survey indicated about 25% of families prefer 100% online, which would reduce our class sizes, helping us to support social distancing guidelines.
I am attaching the Board presentation that provides more detail, but I will highlight some important points below:
- In order to be flexible moving among our three options, teachers will teach in sync with each other, covering the same standards during the same weeks.
- The district will provide face shields to our primary teachers and masks for those staff and students who are not able to provide their own.
- Masks will be required of all students and staff when moving outside the classroom or on buses.
- Teachers will have the flexibility for students not to wear masks when in the classroom or when outside and social distancing is maintained.
- If an outbreak occurs within a school, the CDC guidelines will be followed regarding contact tracing where possible and for whom and for how long classrooms or entire schools need to be closed.
We will be working closely with each school’s principal to manage these instructional options and to implement safety protocols to the extent possible. Keeping our parents informed is a top priority, especially now where we may be asked to change without much notice. You will be hearing from your student’s principal or district office in regards to your preference for online or face-to-face instruction for your students.
I am excited to begin this year as the new superintendent for the Nye County School District. I have experienced a lot of things in my 35 years as an educator, but this has to be the biggest challenge I have ever faced. Knowing we can never eliminate 100% of the threats and provide our students with the most effective instruction, we all strive to find the right balance. We will continue to monitor our situation and follow state directives. We appreciate your support and understanding as we work through this new normal together.
- Click here for a PDF of this letter.
- Click here for a PDF of the presentation to the Board of Trustees on July 13th