Carson City, Nev. (April 27) — The Carson City School District School Board of Trustees voted in favor (six in favor with Trustee Don Carine abstaining) to keep the existing school education model for the remainder of the 2020-2021 School Year. The action solidified the district’s method of instruction to continue in-person, on-campus instruction for all Pre-K through eighth graders, four days a week, Tuesdays through Fridays. All Carson High School (CHS) students (ninth through twelfth graders) will remain in their assigned cohort groups where they will continue to receive instruction via the hybrid-blended learning model through the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
The school board noted that special considerations should be made for students who need to come to Carson High School in-person on their non-cohort days for social and emotional reasons, who may need credit recovery for grade advancements or graduation, or who may desire to attend school where new materials are being presented each day such as those on a HyFlex honors or advance placement schedules. Students considering returning to Carson High School on non-cohort days must contact their school counselor and coordinate with the administration at the high school.
For all students (at all grade levels) throughout the Carson City School District, Mondays will remain remote learning days. Students, both full-remote and in-seat, will check in with their homeroom teachers electronically and work independently throughout the school day.
Any students and families who have elected full-remote instruction may continue to remain in the remote learning instruction model if they choose. The wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing between students where possible is still expected.
The action was prompted by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s April 13, 2021 update to the State’s Emergency Directive that removes the required social distancing mandate and transitions authority over mitigation measures within schools from state to county school districts effective May 1, 2021.
The topic of returning more students to CHS posed the most difficult challenge to modify, given the Governor’s recent guidance, Carson City School District Superintendent Richard Stokes said during the board meeting.
“Even with the ability to go back to school full-time four or five days per week, Carson High School would still be looking at rescheduling approximately 500 students to modify the academic daily schedule in order to bring everyone back,” he said.
Much of the feedback we have received either through emails, phone calls or public comment here tonight has been weighed heavily, Stokes continued. The fundamental question in all of this is whether the major upheaval required is worth the extra in-person school days for less than five-weeks of school.
“Re-scheduling a large number of students at CHS would require students who have become accustomed to the operations, methods and processes of a teacher over three-quarters of the school year to ‘start over’ with a new teacher and new classmates,” Stokes said. “While doable, a change of this magnitude may cause significant upheaval. In a year when regular change has been the norm, do we want to make a shift of this size at this point in the school year?”
The district previously announced a return to four-days-per-week, in-person learning for all 7th and 8th grade students March 23, 2021, 3rd to 6th grade students Jan. 19, 2021 and all Pre-K to 2nd graders Oct. 20, 2020. Pioneer High School, the district’s alternative high school, has been fully operational, four-days-per-week since January 19, 2021. And CHS previously invited more than 200 remote learning students, who were struggling academically, back to in-person learning within the hybrid model at the beginning of the second semester, also on January 19, 2021.
For more information regarding hybrid learning models and schedules or full-remote learning, the district invites parents and families to contact their child’s individual school.