The Carson City School District’s recent announcement to bring prekindergarteners to second graders back to full, on-campus instruction four days a week Tuesdays through Fridays has stirred up excitement among teachers and parents across its elementary sites.
In his presentation discussing the item at Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Richard Stokes said the decision means Carson City School District will be able to accommodate these students as of Tuesday, Oct. 20 as the first quarter of the school year ends, thanks to changes in directives from Gov. Steve Sisolak. But he added administrators, staff members and the public should be expected to “pivot” as regulations continue to change and the district must be able to adapt through modifications as well.
The move also provides an invitation to students who currently are in full-remote status as well as those who are on the hybrid model. Stokes said families who chose the former option are welcome to have their children come back to the classroom among their peers for social interaction.
“We have selected this level of students because of the need that those students have to really become students to learn the ways of going to school, starting to get that familiar concept of study down and to have confidence in their teachers and certainly to learn from their peers,” Stokes said. “And so we’d love to have any of our families who are in full remote status to consider coming back under any of these conditions.”
All of the district’s typical services, including transportation, nutrition and safety, will be in place as students in pre-K to second grade return, Stokes said. Students in third through fifth grades will continue to work in their cohort groups and be on campus two days a week and receive instruction three days a week.
The district will monitor social distancing protocols within the schools. All students are expected to wear face masks and stay within certain social distancing guidelines. Pre-K to eighth graders must keep a distance of 3 feet, and ninth to 12th graders and adults must keep a distance of 6 feet. As such, Stokes said there likely will be a point in time when schools will hit a maximum without some reductions being made at the government level and the district will have to stop with its modifications.
Also of concern for the younger levels was the use of playground equipment and the protocols for sanitization, the restrictions for which are less rigorous than indoor cleaning. Stokes said Tuesday that according to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s not necessary to use cleaning materials to sanitize playground equipment such as jungle gyms, swings or slides as frequently with the natural use of the sun’s ultraviolet rays combating any spreading of contagions. Social distancing still will be expected with supervision, he added.
Stokes said students at Pioneer High School also will be invited back to campus regardless of their cohort day to be able to attend a class. If they are designated to be on campus Tuesdays or Thursdays but are home or working remotely Wednesdays or Fridays, they would be invited to return to Pioneer to reattend a class, be provided a workspace and have access to their teachers and have the ability to attend tutoring if they wish, Stokes said. A similar setup also is being considered at Carson High, he said.
Finally, Stokes said the district has some difficulty filling certain vacancies in transportation such as bus drivers and in nutrition services, as well as custodians. Those who are interested can inquire with the school’s human resources department or visit www.carsoncityschools.com for more information.
“If you are looking for a great job with excellent health benefits, please come and see our folks at HR,” Stokes said Tuesday. “We really do need your help.”