Nevada County public, charter schools move to distance learning beginning March 18 through April 13 | TheUnion.com

Nevada County public, charter schools move to distance learning beginning March 18 through April 13

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

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Below are the school districts that will be moving to distance learning as of next week:

Chicago Park, Clear Creek, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Nevada Joint Union, Penn Valley, Pleasant Ridge, Twin Ridges, Union Hill, Bitney Prep High School, Forest Charter, Nevada City School of the Arts, Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning, Twin Ridges Home Study and Yuba River Charter.

Thousands of California schools which educate millions of students across the state have been shutting down in an effort to prevent the contraction and spreading of the coronavirus, according to CalMatters.

Friday afternoon, after the national emergency declared by President Donald Trump, and a series of executive orders related to the virus, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Scott Lay felt it necessary to make a change as well.

The superintendent’s office canceled face-to-face instruction, thereby shifting the instructional delivery method to distance learning beginning March 18 and likely lasting through the end of spring break on April 13.

All 16 public and public-charter school districts are impacted by the change, which was made known via a letter signed by the superintendent. Campuses will be closed on Monday and Tuesday to give teachers and staff at each school the opportunity to prepare for distance learning.

“This is changing every day. It’s constant reassessing.”Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Scott Lay

About 20 minutes after the letter was sent out Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order ensuring that schools continue to receive state funding for “distance learning and high quality educational opportunities,” school meals and supervision for students “as practicable” during school hours.

On Wednesday, students will be able to pick up learning packets and instructions from staff at their respective schools.

Lay said school campuses will not shut down completely during March and early April. Rather, he said school libraries will be open at certain times and small groups of students will be able to meet with their teachers at specific times during the school day. Food will also be distributed from individual school sites to students on free and reduced lunch, and counselors will be made available for students at particular times throughout the day.

The schedule for all of these things will vary depending on planning and scheduling determined by independent school districts, said Lay.

“It’s going to look different at each district and charter school,” said Lay.

A concern for parents, including personally some staff members and administrators, is what they will do with their children if they need to work at a physical workspace. That issue is not lost on Lay, who said he was raised by a single mother who would have been distressed if this situation befell her.

“Yeah, that’s huge,” said Lay. “We understand that this creates an impact on our entire community.”

Lay said that things will vary depending on the school district site, but the superintendent’s office is working to help the teachers who are also parents figure out their schedules during the unusual time.

With all the unknowns, the superintendent said he’s been in contact with public health officials and local school district administrators to stay updated on the chaotic situation.

“This is changing every day,” he said. “It’s constant reassessing.”

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.


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