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School’s out but not over

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The schools may be closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, but that doesn’t mean teachers are idle this week as they prepare work for students.

Superintendent Teri White said her staff is working on instructional materials so students won’t have to make up the missed days.

She said students will get their work either in packets or from a distance.

A plan is being implemented to provide services to students needing meals and at-risk students for the duration of the closure.

White said Douglas County spring break, which is April 13-17, will go forward as scheduled.

On Sunday, Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all of the state’s K-12 schools until at least April 6.

He said that he coordinated the closure with the Nevada Department of Education and district superintendents.

The closure is directly related to attempting to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Sisolak said the states schools may not reopen until the Nevada Chief Medical Officer evaluates the public health risk and determines when it is safer for each district to reopen.

A meeting scheduled for today to discuss applicants for White’s position as superintendent has been canceled, according to the school district.

White announced Feb. 27 that she was retiring this year and last week school board trustees set a plan in motion to recruit a new superintendent.

Applications were due at the district office on Tuesday. No new meeting has been set to discuss those candidates.

Alpine County Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson suggested that with the schools closed people who are caring for children keep the groups as consistent as possible to minimize the chance of cross contamination between multiple groups.

“Groups should be small, less than 10 children per site,” he said. “Meticulous hygiene measures should be taken.”

He urged residents who are sick to stay home. If someone develops shortness of breath or is sicker than they are comfortable with to contact their health care provider.

“Most people who get this infection recover and do well,” he said. “In your household, have a discussion about what role you will play in keeping the whole community well. Remember, we are all in this together and will only be strong as we draw closer — while we are apart.”

Douglas County School Superintendent Teri White confirmed that as of Sunday there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Douglas County.

She said that staff will be working to prepare instructional materials so that missed days will not have to be made up.

“During the closure, students will be provided work either in packets, or from a distance to the best of our ability as we strive to ensure that our students receive instruction to the best of our ability,” White said.

White said the district will have a plan in place by March 23 to provide services to students who need meals and at-risk students.

“We know this is a stressful time for everyone, especially our students,” she said.