Virtual learning due to COVID-19 begins in Nevada Monday; local teachers question how it will work

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — All schools across Nevada are closed right now because of the coronavirus outbreak. However, on Monday, distance learning, which is also known as virtual learning, will begin for students.

The idea is to keep kids engaged at home even though classes are canceled because of COVID-19.

Many local teachers still have questions about how that will work. Some teachers told 8 News NOW Reporter Orko Mana that they’re not getting any guidance from the state or the Clark County School District when it comes to virtual learning, and that’s causing some frustration.

Kristan Nigro, a kindergarten teacher at Schorr Elementary School, says her biggest concern is how she’ll actually teach her lessons to her students. Given the lack of clarity from CCSD, she says she plans to use Class Dojo, an online app to teach students via video. She’s also going to send Google drive links with assignments.

But Nigron says she’s also worried about equity because some students might not have access to technology or the internet. The Nevada Department of Education has even said that “virtual learning has a high probability of exacerbating achievement gaps” for under-served students.

Nigro says she wants more direction on how to help everyone.

“From CCSD, I would love to actually see them roll out an overall, standardized requirement of what these educators need to do,” Nigro said. “Because some people are getting information from their administrators on what they need to do, and other people haven’t heard anything yet, so being able to have a standardized, across the board, this is what we need to do, this is how we’re going to do it. These are the resources that you have, that would be the ideal situation.”

8 News NOW contacted CCSD about guidelines they may have, and the district said they’re working on it.

CCSD does have educational links on its website, but those are not required.

For students who cannot access online resources, the district says there are paper assignments ready for pickup at all food distribution sites.

Another big question has to do with standardized tests during the coronavirus outbreak. Nevada Education leaders have submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Education, asking for a waiver when it comes to testing.

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