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Panhandle Schools Suspend Internal, External Events, Programs

Panhandle Schools Suspend Internal, External Events, Programs

In an attempt to minimize exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19), and out of an abundance of caution, Gering Public Schools and Scottsbluff Public Schools are suspending all scheduled assemblies, events, and programs, both internal and external, which will be reevaluated over the coming days or as circumstances warrant.

Currently, there are no immediate plans for short-term or extended school closures. The timing of any closure will be done in consultation with public health officials. Our districts will continue to follow infection control plans. We will continue to monitor student and staff absences and illnesses in conjunction with public health agencies. Our districts are taking guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education regarding educational plans for students in the event of a school closure.

For clarification, at this time practice for school activities and athletics will continue as planned, but contests with other schools are suspended. Gering Public Schools will postpone all parent-teacher conferences scheduled for next week. Scottsbluff Public Schools will evaluate the virtual delivery of parent-teacher conferences scheduled for the week of March 23rd in the coming days. Additional updates and details will be made on District social media and websites.

Sidney Public Schools Superintendent Jay Ehler said in a news release the Sidney District is taking the following actions:
  • Effectively immediately, out-of-town activities are cancelled. These activities include field trips, athletic competitions, and fine arts activities and competitions at all levels. In-town field trips and athletic/fine arts activities practices will continue as scheduled. The suspension of these out-of-town activities will be reevaluated over the coming days or as new developments warrant.
  • Access to SPS buildings will be restricted to students, parents, and those authorized by building principals. This includes activities such as Teammates Mentor Meetings and other such activities.
  • As per recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control, SPS encourages staff and students to remain home if sick. Until further notice, the district will not count student absences towards the 20-day chronic absenteeism as long as the district receives communication regarding illness from a student’s parent or guardian. A note from a medical provider will not be required.
  • SPS encourages the practice of social distancing and to avoid travel outside of Sidney when possible.
  • As this pandemic situation evolves, SPS will communicate  with parents and students using social media, Remind, Class DoJo, text, and email.
Sidney Public Schools will continue to assess this extremely fluid and fast moving situation. Members of the administrative team are fully engaged in planning for foreseeable contingencies, monitoring the situation, and responding to the issue with guidance from education and public health officials.
From Unified Command : “While Public Health GPS, and SBPS are not making this decision in response to a federal or state mandate, we feel it is appropriate and proactive to suspend the extracurricular activities of students in hopes of maintaining their ability to continue their academics without interruption. At present, there are no cases of COVID-19 in the Panhandle or the Panhandle Public Health District jurisdiction. Children are not at
the highest risk for having serious complications if they do contract the virus, but minimizing their potential exposures protects our most vulnerable community members as well as our children.”
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