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Analysis praises Nevada’s plans to reopen schools

The Nevada Department of Education’s Path Forward Framework for a Safe, Efficient and Equitable Return to School Buildings has been recognized for its holistic approach to supporting preparations for the 2020-21 school year.

This week, the eSchool+ initiative, led by Johns Hopkins University, which is renowned worldwide for its expertise in infectious diseases and infection control, released an analysis of school reopening plans put forth by 48 states and territories. Of the 12 academic and operational criteria examined, Nevada’s school reopening Framework satisfies 11.

The analysis provides transparency, serving as a state and national school reopening plan tracker, allowing parents, policymakers, school employees and others to review and compare plans. The tracker also brings equity to the forefront because the analysis considers whether states are actively addressing disparities among students. The tracker serves as a snapshot in time and is updated as warranted.

The analysis examined how education recovery plans protect and support the health, safety and well-being of students and teachers in responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The tracker appears on the university’s eSchool + Initiative website that provides resources for reopening K-12 schools.

“I’m proud of Nevada’s Path Forward Framework,” said Jhone Ebert, state superintendent of public instruction. “It provides school districts, charter and private schools with flexibility, as well as ensures transparency and equity as reopening plans are developed at the local level.

“To have Nevada rated at this level is quite an honor and demonstrates the talent, commitment and passion of our state leaders to safely guide staff, students, families and communities through this pandemic.”

The 12 criteria identified as key to reopening plans were: Core Academics, SARS CoV2 Protection, Before and After School Programs, School Access and Transportation, Student Health Services, Food and Nutrition, Parent Choice, Teacher and Staff Choice, Children with Special Needs/ESL/Gifted and Twice Exceptional Children of Poverty and Systemic Disadvantage, Privacy and Engagement and Transparency.

The eSchool+ initiative is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Consortium for School-Based Health Solutions, Berman Institute of Bioethics, Center for Safe and Healthy Schools and the schools of Education, Medicine, and Public Health. It was formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to develop tools and resources for schools to think responsibly about caring for students during school closures and reopenings.

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