How will Elko County students finish the school year?
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How will Elko County students finish the school year?

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ELKO – The school district has announced measures to continue distance learning after the state extended the school closure for the rest of the school year.

Distance learning will continue for the next six weeks as teachers deliver lessons on the internet and on paper to those without internet access.

“While we are extremely disappointed that we will complete the school year without seeing your children in person, we do have plans in place to meet this challenge,” said Superintendent Todd Pehrson.

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced schools would stay closed during a press conference Tuesday evening. The governor closed schools statewide on March 15 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to parents, Pehrson said the district is “working diligently to support our students and each other.”

“As community members and parents, we care deeply about the success of our students and families and are saddened that normal school operations have been disrupted in this manner,” Pehrson wrote. Parents and students will be contacted by school sites for the return of personal items from lockers and desks in the weeks to come.

The extended closure also disrupts senior class award ceremonies and activities.

“We are especially cognizant of our seniors who undoubtedly have questions about end-of-year functions,” Pehrson wrote.

“Although we do not yet have answers to many of these important questions, please know that our high school principals are reaching out to seniors for their input.”

To finish out the remaining six weeks, teachers will use Google Classroom or Canvas for assignments. For students without internet access, paper packets will be distributed according to social distancing guidelines.

Grading for all students will follow a “hold harmless” approach, which means that grades recorded during distance learning will only be calculated into a student’s final semester grade if they cause the grade to improve.

Grades 3 through 8 will be graded under a pass-or-fail model for the fourth quarter.

“Our goal during this time is to support student engagement and learning, while also being mindful of the unique challenges that this situation presents,” Pehrson wrote.

Pehrson said the district would keep in touch with parents.

“We will continue to provide timely updates as decisions and plans are made. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

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Related to this story

ELKO – Now that the school year has officially ended, the Elko County School District is looking at how it will reopen classrooms this fall.

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