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NSHE chancellor looks at reopening scenarios

The Nevada System of Higher Education has begun planning to resume in-person classes for the 2020 fall semester and more limited in-person class offerings later this summer, Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly wrote in a letter to his cabinet, the Council of Presidents, faculty senate chairs and student body presidents.

“NSHE and institution leaders are working closely with health and education experts on various reopening scenarios and phases, with the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff being at the forefront of our concern,” Reilly wrote. “These scenarios include resuming some form of in-person instruction, campus housing and athletic events.”

Reilly noted there were multiple options, including a hybrid approach with a mix of remote and in-person instruction.

“For instance, a science class might be designed to include online lectures and in-person lab sessions that follow established social distancing measures,” he wrote. “Further safety measures could include reducing class sizes, using masks and increased testing availability.

Reilly said athletics remain “an integral part of our institutions” and said the NSHE is working closely with the Mountain West and awaiting guidance from the NCAA regarding the 2020-21 season.

The NSHE is in the process of evaluating risk-mitigating options for housing and dining which reflect appropriate health and safety precautions.

Reilly said the NSHE will continue to coordinate with the governor’s office and follow recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and county health and safety directives.

“We will communicate as soon as possible more details about the developing plans for late summer and fall 2020 semesters,” Reilly wrote.

More than 100,000 students are enrolled at NSHE institutions.

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