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Elko school board amends plan to 'comply with law'

Ira Wines and Teresa Dastrup

Elko County School District Trustees Ira Wines, left, and Teresa Dastrup approved an amendment to the district's reopening plan that follows state laws and directives on Aug. 24. 

ELKO – The Elko County School District will follow Gov. Steve Sisolak’s Directive 48 in its reopening plan, the two-member school board decided Tuesday evening.

The directive says school staff must wear face coverings while inside school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

Trustees Teresa Dastrup and Ira Wines unanimously approved a motion “to comply with applicable law, including but not limited to Nevada Revised Statute, Nevada Administrative Code and emergency directives.”

The amendment reversed the school board’s plan approved two weeks ago that allowed face coverings to be optional for students and staff in the Elko County School District.

Five school board members have since resigned, two who voted in favor and two who opposed the plan.

The line “masks will be optional for all students and staff unless an outbreak is determined by local public health authorities,” violated Directive 48, section 5 which allowed school districts with populations less than 100,000 to adopt a policy students, but not for staff.

Teachers are required to wear mask statewide regardless of vaccination status, unless they have a medical exemption, according to the directive.

According to the state Department of Public Instruction, the school board may continue to conduct business with only two members.

Elko County School District Board of Trustees Teresa Dastrup and Ira Wines approved an amendment to the school district's reopening plan to follow state laws and directives at the board meeting on Aug. 24, 2021.

Dastrup said she was in favor of following the directive and that as trustees who took an oath to follow the law, the amendment was “necessary.”

“These directives under a state of emergency are considered law and if we want to take this beyond our school board, we need to have a nice long visit with our governor and move on from there,” she said.

The meeting lasted about 40 minutes and included about 30 minutes of public comment.

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Courts, K-12 schools & Spring Creek reporter

Staff writer for the Elko Daily Free Press

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