December 30, 2021
Dear NELSD Families,
In my communications to families on August 6, 2021, I noted that we would still need to navigate through the changes to COVID-19 guidelines throughout the 2021-22 school year and would need our Northeastern Local School District (NELSD) families’ patience, support, and flexibility. Therefore, at this time, I must continue to ask for your understanding in these challenging times.
Before the holiday break, we had to move three of our buildings to a full-time remote learning environment for three days because of a shortage in staffing, an increase in positive COVID-19 cases and quarantines, and other illnesses that sent our students and staff home. And, since the Thanksgiving holiday, NELSD has seen a steady rise in positive COVID-19 cases within our faculty, staff, and students. This steady increase has led the Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) Health Commissioner Charles Patterson to anticipate an additional surge within our District as we return from our holiday break in January. In addition, the CCCHD is identifying more positive cases in the community, and the hospitals are currently overcapacity.
As I have stated many times, our District is committed to the safety of our students, families, and staff, and having our students at school and learning face-to-face is best for their educational progress.
Therefore, based on the continued rise in cases and quarantines and the recommendation from CCCHD, NELSD has decided to take an essential step yet again to help our students and staff stay in school. Starting on Monday, January 3rd, NELSD will re-implement a universal face mask requirement for all students (PK-12), staff, and visitors while inside and NELSD buildings through at least Tuesday, January 18, 2022. In addition, face masks are still required for anyone transported by a NELSD bus or van.
We are implementing a universal mask requirement for at least two weeks after the holidays, which will allow us to monitor our COVID numbers for a possible spike in positive cases. As a guideline, we are looking for our District numbers to be below one-half percent (0.005 or 0.5%) of positive cases and below five percent (0.05 or 5%) in quarantines. Families can view our weekly COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard by clicking here.
Previously approved mask exceptions will still be recognized unless the family waived them under the “Mask to Stay” and “Test to Play” guidelines.
Again, the District remains committed to making decisions based on the best interest of our students and staff, ensuring they are provided the best opportunities for success and safely learning together in person. While our goal is to keep our students in school face-to-face, if we do not have enough staff or continue to see an increase in positive cases, there is the potential to go virtual in individual buildings or across the District.
As we have reiterated many times since the beginning of the pandemic, the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are continuously evolving, and we greatly appreciate your continued support of our teachers, staff, and our students.
John P. Kronour, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Northeastern Local Schools