Norfolk Public Schools is still discussing what the fall semester will look like, but the district has decided on a system of guidelines to follow for the upcoming year.
NPS will use a four-tier colored risk dial as part of its comprehensive back-to-school plan, Superintendent Jami Jo Thompson told the NPS board of education Monday.
The district’s COVID-19 return to school committee originally drafted a plan based upon three tiers recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But then the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department (ELVPHD) indicated it is moving to a four-tier colored risk dial and the district followed suit.
“This move will allow the district to respond quickly when there is a change in the COVID status within the community,” Thompson said in a media release.
Thompson didn’t go into detail on the specifics of the plan because they are still being developed. The plan will include several different scenarios, including in-person learning, a hybrid model and complete remote learning.
Each scenario in the plan will include detailed safety measures. The plan will be discussed in-depth at the board’s next meeting at noon on Thursday, July 23, at the Central Administration Office, 512 Phillip Ave.
“If our first day of school was planned for tomorrow, I believe that we would open with all students attending on-site with safety precautions in place,” Thompson said. “However, this is a very fluid situation and could change before Aug. 13. We will be evaluating our situation on a weekly basis, in conjunction with the ELVPHD to determine which tier we are in and which scenario is appropriate.”
Nearly a dozen community members were in attendance during Monday’s meeting. Kimberly Erickson, president of the Norfolk City Education Association, was the only one to comment on the returning to school conversation.
“I want to thank the board, administration and all of our staff for the work that they’ve done in the spring, through the summer and as we work to continue to return to school,” Erickson said. “I want to say, please whenever we are making decisions, keep the safety of our staff and our students in the forefront of all of them.”
Norfolk Public Schools board of education
The Norfolk Public Schools board of education met for its monthly meeting Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Administration Office, 512 Phillip Ave.
The meeting lasted 56 minutes.
Board members present: Arnie Robinson, Sandy Wolfe, Patti Gubbels, Bruce Mitchell and Bob Waite.
Others in attendance: Three from the media and nearly a dozen community members.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
— The superintendent’s report included an update from the COVID-19 Return To School Planning Committee.
— Board members approved a proposed graduation ceremony at Skyview Lake.
— Administrators approved the first reading of a new grading policy.
— Affirmed all actions taken by this board of education virtually from March 17 to June 30.
— Approved a resolution designating authority to the superintendent to implement health and safety requirements for the remaining months of the 2020 summer and the 2020-21 school year.
— Approved the NHS 2020 graduation plans.
— Granted permission to seek proposals for the replacement of the senior high chilling system.
— Approved the first reading of board policy 6250 (grades).
— Approved the first reading of board policy 6111 (classroom environment).
— Approved the first reading of board policies 1040 (annual report), 5506 (safe pupil transportation plan) and 6117 (ceremonies).
— Approved an addendum to the 2020-21 elementary, middle school, junior high and senior high student handbooks.
— Approved an addendum to the 2020-21 classified staff handbook.
— Approved the 2020-21 certified staff handbook.
Original story posted July 13 at 6:51 p.m. Updated July 14 at 9:16 a.m.