Washoe middle, high schools suspending in-class instruction

Wed, Nov 25, 2020 (11:13 a.m.)

RENO — The Washoe County School District is suspending in-class instruction for middle schools and high schools beginning next week as part of an effort to curtail a dramatic jump in coronavirus cases over the past two weeks in the Reno-Sparks area.

The school board voted late Tuesday to continue to offer classroom teaching for elementary schools.

But beginning Dec. 2, secondary students will switch to strictly distance learning instead of the current hybrid model that combines both remote teaching and in-class instruction.

Both decisions came on 5-1 votes.

Middle- and high-school students currently are scheduled to return to some in-person learning on Jan. 4. But school board members intend to review the situation again at their Dec. 8 meeting.

School Superintendent Kristen McNeill had recommended all students go to distance learning for at least a month as the state and local area grapple with the recent, unprecedented growth in the spread of the virus.

Nevada reported a record-high 2,853 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the third time the state has surpassed previous high points in the past two weeks.

Washoe County’s positivity rate is approaching 20%. Counting COVID and non-COVID patients, 84% of Washoe County’s staffed hospital beds are occupied, the highest rate in the state.

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