LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts was joined by Commissioner of Education Matt Bloomstedt to talk about reopening schools in the upcoming Fall Semester at a press conference on Monday morning.
Governor Ricketts said that it’s very important for kids to be back in school, for face to face learning, in the Fall semester.
Some kids learn really well in remote environments, some kids don’t do as well in that remote environment. So it’s important for us to make sure that we’re continuing the academic progression of all of our kids. But it’s not just about academics either. It’s about a variety of different topics. It’s about socialization. Making sure kids can see other kids. It’s about physical health, mental, and behavioral health. It’s about nutrition. We know that many kids meet part of their nutritional needs in school.
Commissioner Bloomstedt talked about how he has been working with superintendents across the state with potential plans and protocols for the return of in person teaching. They want to make sure that there is equity in the public school system. And it’s important to maintain quality education, while also being flexible and accommodating for students, staff, and families that need it.
And of course, safety is of the utmost importance. They still plan on using the green, yellow, orange, and red risk dials to assess the situation for each school district. The commissioner said that masks, cleaning, social distancing, testing, and contact tracing will be key in keeping schools open. Each district will make their own plans, although the state has sent out guidance as well.