WCSD Board of Trustees Finalizes Course for Upcoming School Year Trustees vote to reaffirm previously announced learning model while continuing to monitor health reports, statistics
Contact: Victoria Campbell
WCSD Board of Trustees
Finalizes Course for Upcoming School Year
Trustees vote to reaffirm previously announced learning model
while continuing to monitor health reports, statistics
Reno, NV (July 29, 2020) –
At its public meeting, the Washoe County School District (WCSD) Board of Trustees voted to reaffirm its previously announced plans to conduct in-person teaching and learning for elementary school students and a hybrid model of in-person and Distance Learning for middle- and high school students. District leadership will remain in contact with medical experts to monitor the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and will work with school leaders and families to implement alternative learning plans if the situation warrants.
Classes are scheduled to begin on August 17 for most of the District’s 64,000 students and more than 8,000 staff members. Cloth face coverings will be required for all students, staff, and visitors while in District buildings, and the District will provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning materials at each District site. All families have the choice to pursue Distance Learning options for their students if they so choose at any time during the school year.
In accordance with directives from Gov. Sisolak and the Nevada Department of Education, the Board meeting was held virtually in order to maintain physical distancing and reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. Members of the community were encouraged to provide public comment before and during the meeting, and Trustees were provided with their input as it was received.
During the meeting, Trustees heard presentations from Washoe County Health Officer Kevin Dick and Epidemiology Program Manager Heather Kerwin, and from WCSD administrators who reviewed plans for strict safety measures and health practices that will be mandatory in schools. Administrators also reviewed in-person learning, hybrid learning, and Distance Learning options that will be available for students and their families and reminded families that they have the option to switch between in-person learning and Distance Learning at any time during the school year depending on what is best for them and their students.
“These are difficult and challenging decisions, and we recognize how important they are for our students and families,” said Board President Malena Raymond. “I sincerely appreciate the community input we have received as we move forward with this process. We know we will have to remain flexible and prepare to respond with alternate teaching and learning plans that have been approved by the Nevada Department of Education if the situation changes. As a parent myself, I understand the issues and concerns of our families. We look forward to continuing to work with our staff, families, and partners at the county and state level as we move ahead with the beginning of school in a few weeks.”
“I am grateful to the Trustees and our staff members who are working so hard to provide support and resources for our students and families while also considering the very real need for care and caution,” said WCSD Superintendent Dr. Kristen McNeill. “It is our highest priority to protect the health and welfare of our students and staff while also providing resources and support for their educational, social, and emotional needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges none of us could have predicted even a year ago and forced us—and districts across the county—to embrace entirely new ways of teaching and learning. We are all looking forward to welcoming our students back to class next month, and we are ready to celebrate the beginning of school.”
WCSD is posting information about COVID-19 and the return to teaching and learning at www.washoeschools.net/reopening and will continue to update information as details become available. This information includes recent important updates about how potential COVID-19 exposures, positive cases, and exclusions will be handled in WCSD schools.
District officials continue to urge the community to observe all safety precautions by wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing, and washing their hands in order to help reduce the incidence of illness in Washoe County.
# # #