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Parents to choose more permanent learning model for WCSD second semester

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 9:51 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The first term for the Washoe County 2020-2021 school year is coming to an end. After many changes and hardships for students, staff, and parents, school district leaders are working to provide a more consistent second semester.

“Masks, hand washing, we still have to follow capacity guidelines, the governor’s current directive is no more than 50% of students in a room, students still need to be 6 feet apart, adults 6 feet apart from students at all levels,” Debra Biersdorff, Deputy Superintendent for the Washoe County School District (WCSD) said.

The district is asking all families to participate in a survey where parents will decide which learning model they want their child or children to pursue for the entire second term. This includes in-person, hybrid, or full distance.

“Giving parents the option is the best thing to do, mostly because everyone’s situation is different,” Erin Vansickle, a Reno parent said.

Jerome Segar, also a Reno parent said, “We all want the kids to be in school but with the circumstances, I think hybrid is a pretty good way to go.”

If an unplanned situation happens where the learning model may need to be changed during the second semester, staff say each school will work with families to determine the best solution.

Biersdorff added, “Principals know their families, they’re good at what they do. they’re empathetic and compassionate.”

School officials and some parents agree that consistent learning, healthy routines, and strong teacher-student relationships are keys to success in a world of uncertainty.

“I’m grateful that we were given the option for the kids to go every day because I’m a full time working single parent,” Vansickle said.

Others are concerned about making this decision, as cases and hospitalizations are on the rise.

Segar added, “This is all new, we’re not used to this. This is something different and I’d rather err on the side of caution.”

The WCSD is asking that parents finish the questionnaire by Wednesday, December 9, 2020. Those who do not complete it will be contacted.

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey and choosing a learning model, you’re asked to reach out to your student’s teacher or principal.

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