Governor Steve Sisolak announced today that Nevada school buildings will remain closed through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Districts and charter schools with approved Emergency Programs of Distance Education are expected to continue to offer learning opportunities to all students through the previously scheduled end of the school year as determined by local calendars.
“Due to current safety concerns and the need for ongoing social distancing, I have made the difficult decision to keep school buildings closed for the duration of the Spring,” Governor Sisolak said. “This is in the best interest of our students, educators, staff, and communities. I want to thank our district and school employees, students, and families, for your efforts to continue teaching and learning under difficult circumstances.”
The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) has been in constant contact with district and school leaders, educational partners, and stakeholders regarding the implementation of distance education and to provide necessary support to students and educators during the school building closures. NDE worked with Governor Sisolak and the U.S. Department of Education to provide flexibility to districts and schools, including through waivers of federal and State assessment requirements and guidance to ensure that high school seniors can graduate on-time.
“Though students will not be returning to school campuses, school is not over for the year,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert. “This announcement encourages us to double down on our efforts to strengthen our delivery of distance education and promote equitable access to resources for all learners.”
“Nevada has a long-standing tradition of local control and, as such, district and school leaders are empowered to make decisions regarding the content of distance education, curriculum, and grades,” Ebert said. “This applies to decisions regarding how best to handle graduation and other end-of-year milestones within the rules established by the Governor’s Emergency Directives and the guidance from public health officials.”
“We face a challenge to public health and safety unlike any in recent history. Reaching into every corner of our State and affecting every aspect of our lives, it is testing us in ways we may not fully grasp for months and years to come,” Ebert continued. “The way forward may be clouded with uncertainty, but this much is clear: Rising to the occasion takes a whole-society effort. At moments like this, it is comforting to recognize we have within us the wherewithal to meet this challenge. I am proud of the innovative work going on across the State and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with administrators, educators, staff, and families to develop thoughtful processes and plans so we can make a smooth transition back to classrooms when the time comes.”
Students and families can expect communication from district and school leaders regarding plans for the remainder of the school year, such as graduation. Parents and families should contact their child’s school if they have questions or concerns related to school building closures and/or distance education. Local leaders are best positioned to provide up-to-date and accurate information and to address each child’s unique needs.