To the Parents/Families of Mineral County School District:

Thank you all for the patience and understanding you showed the schools and teachers during the spring school closure.  In order to provide consistent information for all parents/families, this notification is being provided.  The information is for all parents/families of students with children in our local schools, Hawthorne Elementary, Schurz Elementary, Hawthorne Junior High and Mineral County High School.  This information only addresses the 2020-2021 school year and will be addressed in a question and answer format.

What does my child’s educational program look like for the 2020-2021 school year?

The Nevada Department of Education has dictated that all school districts plan for three options for schooling.  

• Option #1 – would be distance/online learning as a result of Phase 1 requirements.  For MCSD, we will utilize the online platform of Google Classrooms.  Teachers will be presenting lessons and interacting with their students on a daily basis, however, it would be through the computer.  If students do not have access to a computer, laptop or tablet, Chromebooks can be checked out through each school site.  The District is working with outside agencies for additional internet access as well as providing care services to families.  The District will still provide bagged breakfasts and lunches under this option.   Additional information regarding food service will be provided should this option be necessary. 

Option #1 would be in effect if the Governor places Nevada in Phase 1.

 Option #2 – would be a blended/hybrid learning program and adhere to Phase 2 guidelines.  For elementary students, during this option half of the students would attend half of the day.  Students would still receive breakfast and lunch, but these will be eaten in classrooms or taken home depending on what time of day the student attends.  For junior high and high school students this option will have limited number of students in the classrooms, but all students will attend all day.  There will be staggered arrival times, passing, and lunches.  Class periods will be adjusted to accommodate these requirements.  

Also, in Option #2 the social distancing for students will be 3-feet and adults will remain at 6-feet, students over the age of 9 (4th grade and above) will be required to wear face coverings, engage in frequent hand hygiene/washing, schools will intensify their environmental disinfecting of common and frequently touched areas/surfaces, and all individuals entering our building will have their temperature screened.

A final point of information, parents will have the choice to remain in an online program if they do not feel comfortable returning the student to an in-person program.  HOWEVER, this choice cannot be changed except at the semester/trimester grading period.  Moving students back and forth is a disruption to their educational program that is more harmful to their education.  

Option #2 is the option under the Governor’s Phase 2 requirements.

• Option #3 – would be return to school as recommended under Phase 3 guidelines.   Schools would reinforce good hygiene measures, keep social distancing guidelines under consideration, face coverings would not be required, etc.  School would return to instruction and scheduling in an “as normal as possible” method.

Option #3 would be in effect if the Governor opens Nevada under Phase 3.

When does school begin?

All schools will begin for staff on August 24, 2020.  In accordance with guidelines provided by the State Superintendent of Instruction, staff can use 10 school days for professional development addressing the needs of reopening schools.  Mineral County School District (MCSD) will be using the first week (5 days) to undergo training for blended and distance learning formats.  In a distance learning format online instruction is necessary.  The District has chosen to use only Google Classrooms for this online instruction.  All staff will use the first week to be trained in this platform.  Additional training days are being identified and if these days affect student attendance, parents and families will be notified in advance.  

When do students return to school?   

All students will return to school on August 31, 2020.  However, students in grades 7 through 12 will be contacted by school personnel with pertinent information during the week of August 24th. 

If students return on August 31st, are we going to school longer next summer?

No, the last day of school will remain as June 3, 2021. 

How will my student get to school?

Transportation will be provided to the students who were receiving this service in the past.  The busses will be loaded to 50% capacity and the students will need to wear their face coverings/masks.  There will be runs for midday when students are released from their elementary school.  Again, we are working with other agencies for support should no one be home to care for your student.  All students who live in outlying areas, such as Schurz, Mina and Luning will be kept on the same schedule.

As further information develops on more specifics to each school’s plan, I will be providing them to you.  If you have questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 775-945-2403.

Thank you,

Karen S. Watson, Superintendent