Nevada Department of Education
Additional Questions and Answers
March 20, 2020
New Questions and Answers
Question (Q): The 30-day non-essential business closure announced by Governor Sisolak goes beyond the announced end of the school building and district office site closure on April 6. Based on the recent announcement, will school buildings and district office sites be closed beyond April 6?
Answer (A): At this time, school buildings and district office sites are still expected to re-open on April 6, 2020, if reopening on this date is approved by Nevada’s Chief Medical Officer after a review of the risk of transmission within the geographic area as defined by the Chief Medical Officer. We will continue working with health officials and provide updates to district/school leaders as well as our communities should timelines change.
Q: Do all district and school employees need to report to work, even if school buildings and district office sites are closed?
A: Yes, district and school employees are expected to continue working and will be paid in accordance with collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) throughout the school building closure. District/school employees may use leave time as necessary subject to CBAs and local policies.
Public school districts are an official function of each county and district/school employees will continue to play a critical role in providing services to children and families during this challenging time. District and school leaders are encouraged to re-assign administrators, licensed educators, or staff as necessary to support students, including support with distance learning and the instructional needs of children, food distribution, and other emerging needs.
Q: How should schools take attendance in instances of distance learning?
A: Nevada Administrative Code 387.193(2) states that students receiving distance education “must be recorded in full attendance for each week that a teacher meets or otherwise communicates with the pupil during the course to discuss the pupil’s progress.”
During the school building closures related to COVID-19, it is expected that each student will be contacted by a licensed teacher or licensed substitute teacher at least once per week. Each school must determine a method for tracking contact with students, which may be done through Infinite Campus, paper documentation, or other means. “Other means” may include students demonstrating progress in their classwork that can be verified through a learning management system. At the middle and high school levels where teachers may have a large number of students, it is recommended that schools consider dividing student outreach among all licensed teachers, rather than strict adherence to each teacher’s own student roster.
- Assessments and accountability. The Nevada Department of Education (NDE), like State Education Agencies nationally, is working closely with the Council of Chief State School Officers and our federal delegation on requests for waivers from certain federal accountability requirements and will provide an update as soon as we receive a response to those requests.
- Graduation Requirements. NDE shares in the concerns we have heard from districts, schools, educators, and families regarding ensuring that students who are on track to graduate from high school in 2020 receive the services and credits they need to successfully complete their K-12 education. NDE will be convening a working group to include district/school leaders and educators to make recommendations on graduation requirements given the unique circumstances created by COVID-19.