Elkhorn Public Schools students will do distance learning the week after holidays and breaks for the rest of this school year.
The school board approved the changes to the 2020-21 school calendar on Monday night. Superintendent Bary Habrock sent a letter home to families explaining the reasoning behind the decision.
Habrock said trends for 2020 have shown spikes in COVID-19 cases following holidays and times when people gather and travel. In an attempt to mitigate spikes in cases for students and staff, the district will do distance learning for one week following Thanksgiving break, winter break and spring break.
The distance learning weeks will now be Nov. 30-Dec. 4, Jan. 4-8 and March 22-26. During those weeks, high school extracurricular activities will continue with added screening protocols.
“We hope this proactive approach improves our ability to avoid long-term closures and allows students/staff to monitor their health for symptoms when the virus is sure to be active,” Habrock wrote.
The district also gave teachers five additional work days, including Election Day, Nov. 3, Nov. 25, Dec. 21 and 22, Feb. 1 and April 30. The letter said teachers “desperately need this time” due to the significantly increased workload caused by the pandemic.
Since the school year began, Habrock said there have been 22 positive student cases at the high school level, seven middle school cases and 11 elementary cases.
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