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Millard and Elkhorn school districts will open for all students this August
special report

Millard and Elkhorn school districts will open for all students this August

Two more school districts in the metro area have announced they will welcome all students back for in-person classes every day starting this August.

Millard Public Schools and Elkhorn Public Schools informed families of their plans Tuesday.

Millard Public Schools Superintendent Jim Sutfin told families in a letter that “this will not be a return to normal.”

Millard parents will be asked to screen students for temperature and other symptoms of COVID-19. In addition, the district may implement random screenings of students as they enter their school buildings.

The district has purchased two masks for each student. If school started today, Sutfin said, students and staff would be expected to wear masks. Safety protocols, he said, will be finalized in August.

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Elkhorn Public Schools will welcome “nearly 100% of students” back to school for in-person instruction, according to a letter district officials sent to parents.

Superintendent Bary Habrock said in the letter that school will start Aug. 18. Work on the new Elkhorn North High School and Woodbrook Elementary School is on schedule, officials said, and both schools are set to open in August.

“Everyone acknowledges that a full return to in-classroom learning is a best-case scenario for our students’ educational advancement,” Habrock wrote. “Additionally, the social-emotional well-being of our students is in play as most want and need to be back in school.”

Students and families with health concerns that prevent students from returning to class can contact district officials for accommodations.

Elkhorn students and staff will be expected to wear masks “as much as reasonable and appropriate,” Habrock wrote. Principals and teachers are expected to work with families on what that means for each student.

As with other school districts in the metro area, Elkhorn has several contingency plans in case COVID-19 prompts school officials to make changes to the school day. One plan would divide the students into two groups and have them attend school on different days of the week.

The Omaha Public Schools, the largest school district in the state, has said it will start the school year by dividing students into two groups based on the starting letter of their last names and having them attend school on different days.

Westside Community Schools has said it will start the school year with all students attending school every day.

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Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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