weather icon Partly Cloudy

Sisolak extends closure of Nevada K-12 schools to April 16

Updated March 24, 2020 - 3:47 pm

The Nye County School District, along with K-12 schools across the state, will remain closed until April 16, per a second directive for schools by Gov. Steve Sisolak. The order puts it in sync with the governor’s recent directive to close all nonessential businesses in the state for 30 days to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Sisolak announced the closure of all K-12 schools through April 6 less than a week earlier on Sunday, March 15, a day prior to Nye students were to returning to the classroom. The closures included public, private and charter schools.

“Each decision we are making in response to the COVID-19 crisis is based on the latest scientific data and recommendations from health officials, which can sometimes change as frequently as every hour,” Sisolak said in a press release from Nevada Health Response.

Under the new directive, school buildings and district office sites will not reopen until April 16.

“This directive supports academic continuity during this time, aligns the school closure date based on updated advice from health experts, and suspends state testing requirements,” the Sisolak’s release stated.

A release from the Nye County School District stated, “School buildings will reopen no earlier than April 16, 2020, and only upon the approval of the chief medical officers of the state of Nevada after a review of the risk of transmission within the geographic area defined by the chief medical officer.”

“I have been working closely with Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert and the Nevada Department of Education to ensure our response to this unprecedented public health crisis is in the best interest of our students, their families, teachers, and all of the essential staff involved in the education of our children,” Sisolak said in the release.

The U.S. Department of Education approved a waiver of federal assessments, accountability, school identification and reporting requirements for the current school year, with a request submitted by Ebert on March 20. Sisolak also suspended state assessment requests, according to the release.

“I am grateful for the school and district staff who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to doing what is best for Nevada’s children, day in and day out,” Sisolak said in the release. “I want to recognize the many districts and schools that have already marshaled their talent and resources to provide distance learning opportunities to students.”

Public and charter schools that haven’t started providing distance learning must do so by March 23 or the school’s next regularly scheduled session day.

A process is being established by the Nevada Department of Education where school districts can request approval for an “Emergency Program of Distance Learning,” the release stated.

“I want to thank Governor Sisolak for his steadfast leadership during this challenging time for our students, educators, staff, and communities,” Ebert said. “The Nevada Department of Education remains committed to providing timely and accurate information and necessary support to districts and schools so that every student has the chance to continue their education.”

The Nye school district developed and submited its “NCSD’s Learning-at-a-Distance Plan” on Sunday. The “Emergency Program of Distance Education” plan had the support Nye County School District Board of Trustees.

“If Nye County School District had failed to submit the Emergency Program of Distance Education request, we would be required to submit an updated school calendar indicating our plan to make up these lost instructional days during this COVID-19 school closure period,” the school district’s release stated.

Sisolak’s directive expanded the definition of distance education under Nevada Revised Statutes to include “paper correspondence to ensure students have access to educational opportunities regardless of their means, access to technology, or at-home support,” the release stated.

Current statutes define distance education instruction to be delivered by video, computer, television or the internet or other electronic communication.

Contact Interim Editor Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
TOWN HALL: Assemblyman Hafen talks voter ID bill, solar energy, parking perks for veterans

Nevada Assemblyman Greg Hafen II (R-Pahrump) hosted his first Live Town Hall of the 2023 Legislative Session last month, discussing a wide variety of topics with his constituents, including solar farms, his proposed voter ID requirement, a veterans’ bill he is sponsoring and more.

Dishwasher saves choking diner at Pahrump Senior Center

Adrienne Fors says she was eating pork and rice when she literally bit off more than she could chew. “When I tried to swallow, it went down my throat and then then it got caught with the curve of my throat. Thank goodness Troy was there to do the Heimlich on me.”

Ruling: Former Nye County commissioner benefited from his vote to increase pandemic-relief funds

The Nevada State Ethics Commissions found earlier this week that former Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo had failed to disclose his financial interests ahead of a vote to increase pandemic-relief funds to local small business owners. He benefited about $35,000 from the deal, according to the finding of a state ethics panel.

Celebrate life at this popular butterfly release

The event is sponsored by Nathan Adelson Hospice and comforts those who are grieving the loss of a loved ones.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Basin and Blagg intersection closure starts Monday

The construction currently underway on Basin Avenue has been focused on the intersection at Blagg Road for the last few weeks and Nye County Public Works will soon have that intersection back to full use but first, the department will need to close it to regular traffic, a fact which area motorists will want to take note.

SNEAK PEEK: Go inside ‘The Bagel Lady’s’ new Pahrump shop – PHOTOS

Shelly Fisher AKA “The Bagel Lady” is opening Shelly’s NY Bagels on March 25. Fisher has customized the corner suite at 1190 E. Highway 372 and will serve breakfast and lunch there. She tells the Pahrump Valley Times how the local community has helped grow her operation and gave our Faye Burdzinski and John Clausen an inside look at her new operation.

Pahrump fugitive arrested after months on the run

Anthony Bell evaded a SWAT-team standoff earlier this month. Footage shows the suspect brandished a rifle outside Pahrump casino following a fight in December.

LOVE FADING: See what’s become of the notorious Love Ranch brothel – PHOTOS

A year after the Love Ranch sold as part of a $1.3-million acquisition of 23 properties that included this Nye County brothel where NBA star Lamar Odom was famously found passed out from an apparent drug overdose, there’s been little effort to reopen or restore the iconic site. Photojournalist John Clausen went inside to “show us the Love.”