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Washoe school district approves students to return to classrooms this fall

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 11:03 PM PDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 1:39 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Washoe County School Board of Trustees met virtually Tuesday, July 7, 2020 to discuss the reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year.

The board unanimously approved the motion to have students return to school a week later in August to allow for five days of staff training.

Board discusses calendar for students for upcoming school year.
Board discusses calendar for students for upcoming school year.(KOLO 8 News Now)

The calendar will have state authorized professional development for staff Aug. 10 to Aug. 14. Students will start school on Aug. 17 with kindergarten assessment Aug. 17 to Aug. 21 and kindergarten instruction beginning Aug. 24. Elementary students will return to the classroom full-time.

Additionally, the board voted unanimously to have Washoe County elementary students return to the classroom full-time. Board members also discussed hybrid learning, where middle and high school students do both online learning and attend school for a limited time each month.

The second item up for motion was regarding face coverings. The Board of Trustees approved unanimously the required use of face covering for staff, visitors, and students Pre-K through grade 12 while in district buildings. This motion is consistent with Governor Steve Sisolak’s Directive 024, including noted exceptions.

Board discusses face coverings requirements for upcoming school year.
Board discusses face coverings requirements for upcoming school year.(KOLO 8 News Now)

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved student transportation being provided by school buses at equal to or greater than 50% capacity for the phase 2 learning models contingent on receiving state approval for capacity over 50%. all occupants on the bus would be required to wear face coverings. This includes one student to a seat, with some two to a seat, staggered delivery times and cleaning protocol.

Slide discusses future of transportation for upcoming school year.
Slide discusses future of transportation for upcoming school year.(KOLO 8 News Now)

A survey conducted by the school district shows most families, staffs and students support returning to school in the fall. Five percent of families, 6 percent of students and 2 percent of staff said they would not return.

Sixty-two percent of families supported returning, as did 65 percent of students 74 percent of staff. The rest gave a qualified yes, depending on the plan adopted by the school board.

School staff said the guiding principals are Do No Harm, ensure student, family and staff basic needs are being met, ensure equitable access for all students, have high academic expectations for students and follow health-related guidelines.

The state guidance includes less than 50 percent occupancy and social distancing, plus face coverings for students and staff 10 years old and older.

Board members also discussed a nutrition plan, custodial procedures and guest and substitute teachers.

Board discusses possible nutrition plan for upcoming school year.
Board discusses possible nutrition plan for upcoming school year.(KOLO 8 News Now)

Comments were able to be submitted before and during the meeting.

To see the full meeting agenda, click here.

The Washoe County School District considers returning to school.
The Washoe County School District considers returning to school.(WCSD)
Washoe County School District explores resuming school.
Washoe County School District explores resuming school.(WCSD)

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