Grand Island’s elementary school students head back to the classroom five days a week starting Monday, April 26.
Schools Superintendent Brian Graham, calling the change “exciting news,” made the announcement at Monday’s school board meeting.
Graham said the information he presented in detail to the school board Monday will also be made available as a video online Tuesday, April 13, to all stakeholders – parents, students, community members, teachers, administrators and staff. There also will be an accompanying survey on Tuesday to gather feedback.
The district is scheduling a parent-and-stakeholders virtual meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 15, with an opportunity to answer questions about the changes.
The younger students’ return was made possible last Friday, April 19, when the state health department said they can be seated 3-feet apart in class while wearing masks, instead of the earlier COVID-19 restriction of 6 feet between students. New state guidance was based on recommendations last month from the Centers for Disease Control.
However, Graham said the district’s middle and high schoolers can’t go back five days a week because Grand Island is in a high-transmission zone for COVID-19, keeping the 6-foot distance rule in effect. The CDC guidance said the risk for on-site transmission is lower for younger students than for teenagers. Since the district doesn’t have the physical space to accommodate the 6-foot social distancing for all the older students, they will remain in the hybrid learning model for now.