A new story from the Nevada Independent details the results of the Clark County School Board of Trustees unanimous decision to open the 2020-2021 school year with distance learning (with the provision that it be reevaluated every 30 days). The decision comes in response to still rising cases of COVID-19 in Nevada and Clark County in particular. The trustees also decided that staff could work at home or school when possible.
Originally three proposals were submitted with options for in-person, hybrid, and distance learning but now it is official – students will start the school year at home. However, this does not mean that the coming school year will begin in the same manner that the last one ended. The Nevada Independent: “Educators have acknowledged locally and nationally that very little actual learning occurred during the last quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, leading to what some have coined the “COVID-19 slide” — gaps in students’ education as a result of the abrupt school closures.”
Many details still need to be worked out, particularly making sure all students have access to the technological tools and internet they need to make distance learning effective. Additionally, the board’s decision raises questions about the fate of school support staff positions and whether layoffs might result from distance learning. These questions and more remain unanswered but the biggest decision about the start of the upcoming school year has been made.