The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) today released its Path Forward Plan – Responding to COVID-19 to support schools and districts in continuing to provide educational opportunities to all students. The Path Forward Plan outlines work that has been done to shift policies and practices to date, as well as next steps to navigate the remainder of this school year and to prepare for the 2020-21 school year.
In addition, Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a directive confirming the previous announcement that school building closures and emergency programs of distance education would continue through the end of the 2019-20 academic year.
NDE’s Path Forward Plan includes the establishment of a Re-Opening of Schools Committee. This committee will support NDE in developing guidance for districts and charter schools to create and implement safe, efficient, and equitable plans for returning to school buildings. The Committee will be comprised of State health officials, district superintendents and staff, charter school leaders, school safety experts, and others. The Committee will begin meeting in May 2020 and will create opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback throughout its work.
“I am proud of the ways our educators, staff, families, and students have stepped up to continue teaching and learning during this difficult time,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak. “Along with our economic recovery plans, the Path Forward Plan will rely on the advice of experts to provide support to each district and charter school in developing and implementing a safe approach to re-opening our school buildings.”
The shift to distance education highlighted challenges including access to technology, professional learning for educators, and high-quality instructional materials. In response, NDE created the Nevada Distance Learning Collaborative (DLC) to support educators and families in providing and participating in distance education across the State. The Path Forward Plan will build on the work of the DLC as well as leverage resources anticipated through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to increase our capacity to successfully teach and learn at a distance.
“This moment in time has created an opportunity to transform our approach to an equitable education for all learners. In addition to planning for the re-opening of school buildings, we must continue to strengthen our capacity – both in resources and talent – to address the needs of every student, regardless of their access to technology, at-home support, ability, or means,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert. “We are working in close coordination with district and school leaders to ensure that students can continue to learn through the end of the school year and that every senior receives the diploma they have earned.”
For more information on Nevada’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, visit NVHealthResponse.com.