Carson schools review reopening plan as COVID lingers

The Carson City School District has released its revised safe school reopening plan for the 2021-22 school year.

The Carson City School Board conducted a six-month review of its plan to reopen schools safely on Tuesday and released the document this week after revising its language on providing school and social services.
Community members, however, have expressed concerns about the effects of mask mandates on children in the classroom in response to the item.
The plan to reopen schools safely and the way forward for distance learning was required of school districts last year for emergency relief funding for elementary and secondary schools made available to states for help school districts and educational services after the pandemic. COVID-19 prevented sites from operating at full capacity as they adapted to hybrid models or sometimes shut down completely, leading to loss of learning.
Superintendent Richard Stokes, presenting the item to council, said the district had received additional suggestions from the NDE on expanding its processes outlined in its plan, also made by Director of Grants and Special Projects, Valerie Dockery .
Dockery, in his presentation, said the plan updates included information on vaccination clinics, which the district itself does not offer. Instead, it partners with Carson City Health and Human Services or Nevada Health Centers throughout the year to distribute information or vaccines to staff, students, and families.
The Carson City plan offered several options for all students, including full in-person instruction five days a week or distance education for those who could attend campus on-site or who had to stay home for health reasons. . If government authorities close or limit school operations and the district activates a hybrid model, the CCSD must provide the equipment to offer distance learning.
The plan now also addresses processes to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak and testing advice.
Hosting special populations was included because social distancing was an issue in helping disabled or medically frail students, Dockery pointed out. She added that the district is already following Centers for Disease Control and Protection guidelines.
She also said the district is addressing the social and emotional health of students as outlined in the district strategic plan, but now better categorizes its framework by levels for specific supports and outcomes such as strategies. intervention for behavioral problems.
Administrator Joe Cacioppo reminded the public that federal and state departments had requested the plan.
“We haven’t changed the content of the plan,” he said. “If you didn’t like the plan before on the masks, you’re not going to like it now. It hasn’t changed the substance of the plan. … And I know we have concerns about the masks, and we We will continue to work with Mr. Stokes and move forward to get back to normal.
Dockery said nothing about the plan being removed.
“They liked our basic plan, they didn’t note anything related to mask-wearing,” Dockery said. “Their perspective is how (we) keep the school safe and how do we make sure we stay in compliance with federal law to keep the school safe.”
Public comment on the article objected to the school district‘s continued use of masks.
Resident Richard Nagel said he thinks school officials should focus more on “requirements versus recommendations.”
“Cardiologists say masks are completely worthless,” Nagel said. “It’s time to choose where to go and lose the masks and save our children.”
Shanna Cobb-Adams, a mother of three and Nevada Medicaid worker, said she was thrilled initially to learn the district would be open five days a week and hoped masks wouldn’t be needed, she s was concerned about the added language in the document about lifting mask mandates. She shared a personal story about her daughter who was diagnosed with kidney disease when she was 2 years old.
“She is at high risk for serious complications from COVID, but in life we ​​take risks,” Cobb-Adams said. “We have taken risks over the past 13 years. Whatever happens can land her in the hospital and eventually lead to kidney failure. …It was very difficult to spend so many years trying to teach my child not to live in fear only to now have to have her live in fear because of it when I had to driving her to Stanford when a parent sent their child to school with chickenpox, which could lead my child to the hospital or kill her.
Administrator Laurel Crossman said the majority of comments she received were generally in favor of keeping students in schools even if it means students wearing masks, referring to the first two weeks of school when more than 500 students were excluded for COVID.
“From what I’ve heard, from most parents I talk to, they want their kids in school and most parents have contacted me… said, ‘I’m fine with wearing masks, I’m fine. don’t want distance learning,” Crossman said. lots of sick friends right now I would be hesitant in this month to make any drastic changes to the (plan) right now.

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