Back To School 2020





Area schools observe protocol during pandemic

By JOB VIGIL Area schools move closer to one of the most unusual openings of a school year in his- tory as the COVID-19 pandemic forces chang- es in protocols for all. Most area schools are following the same steps, including North Platte Public Schools, North Platte Catholic Schools, Our Redeemer Lutheran School, Sutherland, Wallace, Maxwell, Hershey and Brady. Each school web- site has information on the process of get- ting students back into the classroom, and all have indicated they will follow the West Central District Health Department’s risk dial. North Platte Public Schools Based on the cur- rent directed health measures as well as guidance from the West Central District Health Department and the Nebraska Department of Education, NPPS plans to return to school as expected for pre-kindergarten through ninth grades Aug. 17 and grades 10- 12 Aug. 18. Families are encouraged to speak and work with students about social and physical distanc- ing, hygiene and the proper use of face cov- erings. The school district has posted re- sources about these topics online at smore. com/tyv08. NPPS is planning to start school in August with the following guidance: » Students in pre-K through 12th grade will attend school in person.

Graphic courtesy of West Central District Health Department

As of Aug. 6, the dial was at the low end of orange, indicating an elevated risk of the virus spreading.

Job Vigil / The North Platte Telegraph McDaid Elementary School will open as scheduled on Aug. 18, said North Platte Catholic Schools Superintendent Kevin Dodson.

Telegraph staff reports TheWest Central District HealthDepartment covers Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Thomas, Hooker and Arthur counties. In late June, the WCDHD introduced a COVID-19 Risk Dial to provide a summary of current health conditions in the area and the likelihood of the novel coronavirus spreading. As of publication, the dial is updated by the WCDHD every Thursday and can be found at The following data is used when determin- ing dial placement: COVID-19 risk dial offers guidance for schools

sued this statement: “We will follow guid- ance from the local health department and contact tracing to make any decisions. Each COVID exposure or sce- nario is very different. There are many fac- tors that are taken into account that dictate the outcome. Above all, parents will be in- formed and able to keep their students home at any time if they feel they are vulnerable” said Jodi Miller, NPPS nurse. North Platte Superintendent Kevin Dodson said McDaid Elementary and St. Patrick High School will open as scheduled Aug. 17 and 18. “We plan to start on time unless told oth- erwise,” Dodson said. “Our No. 1 priority is to have the doors open Catholic Schools and the students in the classrooms; and

» Accommodations will be made for K-12 students who are un- able to attend in person to learn online us- ing online learning through Zoom, Google Classroom, Edgenuity and other remote learn- ing tools. Students will have recorded lessons available and the pos- sibility of some live instruction. » Remote learning request forms can be found on the website for elementary, middle school and high school. » Based on current recommendations from WCDHD and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, NPPS high- ly recommends that students and staff wear face coverings at all times. This recom- mendation is subject to change based on the risk dial and guidelines set forth by federal, state and local health and education officials. Should a COVID ex- posure be discovered at NPPS, the district is-

throughout the day, we want to keep the oper- ation as routine and as close to normal as pos- sible.” He said there would be a few changes on how the schools oper- ate but will try to limit those as much as pos- sible. Hershey Public Schools Currently, school is scheduled to begin Aug. 17. The district plans are that 100% of the student population will be returning to school on this date. The dis- trict will be following West Central District Health Department’s four-color risk dial. Plans have been de- veloped for each of those risk levels in all aspects of the school day. Parents were sent a letter on July 15 from the school board say- ing that when the dial is yellow or orange, instruction will oc-

» Weekly positivity rate. » Overall positivity Rate. » New cases. » ICU availability. » Ventilator availability. » Community spread. » Testing availability. » Contact tracing.

» Direct contacts of positives. » Cases per million per day. » Medical and surgical bed availability. » Availability of reliable and valid antibody testing. » Availability of effective treatment modali- ties for COVID-19. » An effective vaccine that is widely available. » Being able to easily obtain PPE through standard supply chains.

Please see AREA, Page D3





Remote or in-person, NPPS wants students to learn

Classrooms will try to social distance, say learning directors

distance and follow the guide- lines.” She said the teachers will be working on those arrange- ments when they come to the buildings to prepare for open- ing. Online, elementary class- es will offer curriculum via Google Classroom. “At K-5, we have one teach- er at each grade level that is recording their lessons and we’re uploading them to Google Classroom,” Benjamin said. “The students will be able to download those and watch them while doing their work.” Elementary students learn- ing remotely will not access their classes live. “The child who is going re- mote is going to have to work remotely,” Benjamin said. “We’re just trying to give them as many tools as we can to be successful.” A student with a question on an assignment can email the teacher, Benjamin said. “They are able to reach out and get the help that they

far away as the room allows,” Benjamin said. “We’ve elimi- nated a lot of the materials in the classrooms as far as book- shelves or teachers’ desks.” Benjamin said the dis- trict has tried to create the optimal amount of space to distance the students. At this time, he said, he didn’t think class sizes would cause the district to move any classes from their original rooms to larger ones. “I don’t think the class siz- es differ that much in each building, so I don’t think moving a class to a differ- ent room will create enough extra space to make much dif- ference,” Benjamin said. “In the elementary schools we didn’t move any classes.” Carlson said it’s similar at the secondary level. “The only courses that we are looking at in terms of a variation of a classroom arrangement would poten- tially be our music classes,” Carlson said. “That all stems on enrollment and our ability to use our larger classrooms to get students to safely


Whether students attend school in person or online this fall, every effort is being made to offer opportunities to learn at North Platte Public Schools. Vikki Carlson, direc- tor of secondary teaching and learning, and Trent Benjamin, director of elemen- tary teaching and learning, said they are ready to handle whatever comes with the new school year. Classrooms will look different, and the online platforms will try to accom- modate the needs of students who will attend in a virtual world. “For the classroom setting, they are just going to try to social distance as much as we can and getting the desks as

Courtesy photo via Lee News Service Bertrand students watch a video recorded by their teach- er. North Platte Public Schools will offer on-site and remote learning opportunities for students this fall.

Please see NPPS, Page D4

AREA from Page D2

into their designated classroom. Each class- room has an external door, and the students will stay in that class- room throughout the day. Students will not be filing into the build- ing and down the hallways. “They’ll eat their lunch in that class- room, do all their work in that classroom,” Carson said. “If they’re going to have a differ- ent teacher, the teacher will come to them.” Carson said that by keeping students in their classrooms, the school may be able to isolate one room, rath- er than the entire school, if a COVID-19 exposure occurs.

Students will be counted absent un- less the district has received a quaran- tine order or directive from a medical pro- vider or authorized health official. With proper documentation the student will not be counted absent. Staff will be required to wear masks in a few specific areas and at all times during elevated and high-risk levels. Maxwell Public Schools Maxwell Public Schools’ opening is scheduled for Aug. 13. The plan has been posted on its website, but a statement from Superintendent Danny

ly as conditions and information from the CDC and West Central Health Department warrant. Mobility be- tween risk levels will be based on current information made available by WCDHD. Our Redeemer Lutheran School Our Redeemer Principal Wende Carson said school will begin Aug. 19 as planned. Several pre- cautions will be in place including a temperature station outside the entrance at the flagpole. Carson said students will enter the building

McMurtry says that things change dai- ly. The district will be continually looking at its plan and making adjustments to fit cir- cumstances and will inform parents and stu- dents of changes. Brady Public Schools Brady schools’ sched- uled opening date is Aug. 17. Individuals who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to leave the building. Parents or guardians will be noti- fied. The school notes that these procedures are general guide- lines, and changes may need to occur quick-


Sutherland Public Schools Currently, Sutherland Public Schools will have all students attend in per- son with no modified schedule. The first day for students is Aug. 14. Alternate learning op- tions will be in place only for students who need a different educa- tional placement by law, as determined in an Individualized Education Programor by a 504 plan team, or for students who are under a direct medi- cal quarantine. In those circumstances, alterna- tive arrangements will bemade on a case-by- case basis.

cur in person in the classroom with a few exceptions. A main priority is educating staff and students on proper hygiene and social dis- tancing protocols that will better help protect students and staff. The district will be provid- ing this information through signage in the building and through communication with parents via mail, email, website and so- cial media. The district is still discussing what the screening protocol will be for students and





New guidelines prompt changes to NP high schools’ fall seasons

By JAKE DREILINGER The North Platte Public School District Twitter page posted a video from Jordan Cudney, the activities direc- tor, on Thursday to answer some questions about the up- coming season. The fall season for NSAA-affiliated schools NSAA allows first games to begin Aug. 27

begins on Monday. That’s when football teams are of- ficially allowed to practice. The first games are set to begin August 27. That much is known. What isn’t known, and what Cudney’s video is try- ing to clear up, is how this season is going to be differ- ent due to COVID-19. The first thing he said was that athletes are being asked to wear masks. “The biggest why is to pro- tect our student athletes, but even on a bigger picture, pro- tect our teams from getting shut down,” Cudney said in

the video. “One of the big- gest guidances that we’ve received from West Central as well as Great Plains is we can protect teams from get- ting shut down if we can have athletes in masks when they can’t maintain that six feet of social distancing.” Cudney’s message covers a few of the recommendations made by the latest NSAA guidelines that were released on Tuesday. North Platte High School and St. Patrick’s High School are making use of these guidelines as the

Telegraph file photo New guidelines from the NSAA mean changes for North Platte high schools when it comes to fall sports. Football prac- tice can start Monday, according to recent NSAA guidance.

Please see NSAA, Page D5

In your hand or on the web, we have all the news you need!

NPPS from Page D3

mote learning for nine weeks.” At the end of the first nine weeks, the student then will choose ei- ther to continue remote learning or to return to the classroom. High school students will have the same schedule for remote learning as if they were attending in person. “That will be monitored by our administrators, coun- selors and also the classroom teachers,” Carlson said. Other classes will be strictly Google Classroom courses, such as college algebra. “That’s already on- line,” Carlson said. “We’ve had a number of teachers over the years upload their con- tent already to Google Classroom.” Students who take science classes have a new curriculum so they can complete their labs virtually in the on- line platform. “All of our elective classes at the second- ary level will also have

Google Classroom so students will still be expected to com- plete their formative and summative work,” Carlson said, “wheth- er they’re in art class or physical education or whether they are in math, science or social studies.” She said expectations don’t lessen because the student chooses to go remote. “The expectation re- mains the same because all the way through high school we need to keep the student on track to graduate,” Carlson said. Some aspects of re- mote learning will be limited. “The reality (at the elementary level) for those choosing to go to remote learning is that they are just go- ing to miss out on (the hands-on experience),” Benjamin said. “It’s un- reasonable to think a kid can sit on Zoom for five hours and watch it, so we are only pro- viding reading, writing and math to be filmed.”

need during the school day,” Benjamin said. But students need to contact their teacher during school hours. “Teachers shouldn’t be expected to have to work from 5 to 8 o’clock at night,” Benjamin said, “because that’s not part of the contract hours.” At the secondary level, teachers are be- ginning the year with hybrid learning. “All students, wheth- er in the classroom or online, will have access to the teacher through Google Classroom,” Carlson said. In all grade levels, Carlson said, students who elect to go with re- mote learning at the beginning of the year will be making the de- cision by term. “Students won’t be floating in and out,” Carlson said. “If they made the decision to do remote learning, then they will stay in re-





NSAA from Page D4

Rice said.

“Before an athlete enters a locker room af- ter practice, we’ll have spray guns and Lysol and different things available that they will have to sanitize their equipment before they go back in the lock- er room,” North Platte football coach Todd Rice said. The NSAA guide- lines state that games can be canceled due to COVID-19 related is- sues, and that game won’t count as a win or a loss. If a player does come down with COVID-19, schools are instructed to contact their County Health Department regarding a proper course of action. At North Platte High School, athletes have to have their temperature checked before they can go to practice or en- ter the weight room,

A high enough tem- perature means that the player will be sent home. Rice also said players will be given COVID screening questions as well so the school can monitor the situa- tion with their athletes. Players will be given masks to use during practice. Lynes said players can wear masks or vi- sors if they choose to. “From day to day, anything can change,” Lynes said. “From Monday to Thursday, there can be a lot of change if somebody has a COVID case come up. ... I think it’s just being flexible and understanding that ev- erybody is in the same boat. We got to keep to- gether and try to do this thing together.”

upcoming fall season creeps closer. “It’s something dif- ferent,” Cudney said in the video. “It’s not convenient or normal by any means, but we want to take as many steps as we can to help protect our ath- letes and also protect our teams from get- ting shut down this fall.” A big takeaway from the guidelines is each school can determine if it will participate in the season. It will be up to the home team to provide oversight and make sure the facilities follow guidelines set in place by local health departments. The NSAA guide- lines state that the home team needs to ensure a safe envi- ronment not only for themselves, but for op- posing teams, officials and fans as well. Brendan Lynes, ac- tivities director for St. Patrick’s High School, said when it comes to football and the way their stadi- um is set up, it’s easy to follow these guide- lines for games. “We’re kind of pret- ty lucky there where we have a concession

Telegraph file photo For North Platte high school volleyball teams , new NSAA guidelines will mean continuously sanitizing the volleyballs and nightly washing of player pads.

players are encour- aged to wash their pads every night.

tain social distancing. The most difficult part might be keeping equipment clean. Both schools have many standards when it comes to the use of the equipment. Athletes have to san- itize hands before entering a weight or training room, and they have to wipe down equipment after they have used it. Volleyballs will need to be continu- ously switched out and sanitized during games, and football

stand in our school and a concession stand un- derneath our press box,” he said. “So our concession stands will still be separated, so that should be OK. And there are bathrooms on either side too, so we don’t have to intermin- gle.” Volleyball will take a little more work because it is in- doors, Lynes said. St. Patrick’s will be looking into ways to stagger how the play- ers come out of the locker room and main-





To get kids used to masks, start before school By SUSAN SZUCH susan.szuch@ With a week or less before school starts, par-

ents still have time to get their kids acclimat- ed to wearing a mask. The playbooks re- leased by the North Platte Public School District have measures that coincide with where the needle falls on the West Central District Health Department’s COVID-19 risk dial. The risk dial is updated ev- ery Thursday. At all schools, masks are optional when the dial is in the green zone; “highly encour- aged” when students are “on the move” or work- ing with others when the dial is yellow; and mandatory when it’s in orange. Jodi Miller, a nurse with NPPS, said helping kids understand what’s going on in the world at the moment is the most important thing. “Number one: Education has to be there. People real- ly should be knowing what’s going on—we clearly have a pandem- ic going on,” Miller said. “To ensure yourself and others are safe, it’s good to be honest with kids so they knowwhy we’re wearing these (masks), because they’re not go- ing to understand why they need to wear them if they don’t understand what’s going on. We’re protecting ourselves and we’re protecting others.” Once the understand- ing of the situation is there, parents can start having their kids prac- tice wearing masks at home. Fran Rieken, a li- censed mental health practitioner at Great Plains Health, and her

Graphic courtesy of Great Plains Health

This image from a Great Plains Health handout demonstrates how to properly don, or put on, a mask.

Wearing a mask The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these tips on wearing a mask correctly: » Wash your hands before put- ting on your mask. » Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. » Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face. »Make sure you can breathe easily. Washing your mask According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masks should be washed after each use. You can wash your mask in the washing machine with regular laundry. The CDC recommends us-

Tips for parents Advice from Fran Rieken, licensed men- tal health practitioner at Great Plains Health, and her supervisor Dr. Nancy L. Foster, as- sistant professor in psychology at University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation. » Start practicing wearing a mask now, for short periods of time at home and always when families leave the house. » Find a mask that is comfortable for the child. This may require experimenting with different styles or fabrics. Just like how kids don’t want to wear uncomfortable clothes, they will protest something that’s itchy, rides up over eyes, fogs up their glasses, etc. Let the child have some participation in selecting their mask so they are invested. » Model mask wearing and the importance of protecting others. » Parents should talk about wearing a mask in a positive manner. If there are negative com- ments, that will only make a child resist more. “We all wear our masks when we go in the store.” Just like seat belts, parents should wear their masks to establish this as important! » Use positive reinforcement when children are wearing their mask. » Wait until everyone has a mask on before entering a store or new area. It’s a lot easi- er than trying to convince the child to wear a mask once inside destination. » Contact primary care physician for consul- tation on appropriate masks and fitting.

ing regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water set- ting for the cloth used to make the mask. If you need to wash your mask by hand, you can prepare a bleach solution of 5 tablespoons house- hold bleach per gallon of room temperature water, or 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water. Some bleach products may not be suit- able for disinfecting, so check the label. Soak the mask in the bleach solution for 5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with cool or room-temperature water. No matter how you wash the mask, make sure that it is com- pletely dry before wearing.

ting the mask on a bear at home or on a stuffed animal, seeing how it looks” can also be bene- ficial, Miller said. Regardless, the soon- er a child can get used to wearing one, the better. This can also help kids avoid uncomfortable masks, which will make them less likely to wear it properly, said Rieken, Foster and Miller. Miller recommended that parents try differ- ent fabrics and styles, and that a child-sized mask may be one of the most helpful things to seek out. “Size is the important thing in getting a com- fortable fit. Obviously a kid won’t be able to wear an adult mask,” Miller said. Adjustments also can be made for kids

supervisor Dr. Nancy L. Foster, assistant professor in psychol- ogy at University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation, rec- ommend that parents have kids wear their masks for short periods of time and always wear themwhen they leave the house. Miller agreed, saying that the amount of time parents start with will vary with the age of the child. “It could be seconds to minutes the first time, and just gradually in- crease that. You have to be age and child specific —whether it’s minutes or hours,” she said. “Depending on the age of the child, put-

who wear glasses, such as buttons or ribbons, to ensure a solid fit. “It does take thinking ahead to what the barri- ers are going to be.” The fit of the mask and how it feels in dif- ferent environments are more reasons that it’s important for kids to try out masks before school starts. “Wearing themasks before they’re in school can help prevent uncom- fortable fits, tomake sure that it’s not gaping or rubbing against their ear all day,”Miller said. “Try (wearingmasks in) dif- ferent areas—wear it at Grandma’s house; wear it, obviously, toWalmart. Evenwear it outdoors, because with the heat, it does make you feel a lit- tle different.”

Rieken and Foster also pointed out that the parents’ attitude toward masks will de- termine how a child feels about the mask. Modeling mask wear- ing in public sets a good example for kids. Miller is hoping that parents take the oppor- tunity before school starts to help kids un- derstand why wearing a

mask is important, but she also recognizes that there may be a learning curve along the way. “Honestly, the first days to possibly weeks are going to be filled with education,” Miller said. “We’re going to use many platforms — whether it’s posters, teacher education, vid- eos. We’ll definitely try to help the best we can.”





St. Patrick’s Catholic Church 415 N. Chestnut • 532-0942

Parkview Community Church of the Nazarene 1802 North Jeffers - 532-0613 - E-mail: Rev. James Trippett Web Site for services: SATURDAY AT PARKVIEW 7:00pm • Worship Service Also available on Facebook Livestream SUNDAY 11:00am • Worship Service Also available on Facebook Livestream WEDNESDAY 7:00 pm • Middle School and High School Facebook Livestream Call the Church for more info 532-0613 Office hours Mon - Thurs 9-5 p.m. Little Lamb Christian Daycare and Christian Preschool Monday through Friday 532-4126 Beautiful Savior Lutheran (LCMS) • 402 Baytree • 534-7004 • email: Pastor Robert Deardoff for links to livestream

Holy Spirit Catholic Church 2801 West E • 534-6623 Father Vidya Sagar Arikotla, S.D.B.

We will start having Mass in the Church following the CDC COVID-19 guidelines. Masses will continue to be streamed also:

5:00 pm • Saturday Evening Mass 3:45 - 4:30 pm • Confessions Also available by appointment 7:30 am & 11:00 am • Sunday Mass

Harvest Christian Fellowship A Wesleyan Ministry Jeremy Rinke, Lead Pastor “A Real Church for Real People”

WEEKEND MASSES Saturday - 5:30 pm Sunday 8:30 am; 11:00 am; 5:30 pm

COMMUNION SERVICE Mon. - 7:00 am DAILY MASS Tues. - Sat. - 7:00 am

6:30 pm

Saturday Service: Sunday Services:

9:30 am and 11:00 am Celebrate Recovery: 6:30 pm each Sunday • Find us on Facebook 1501 S. Dewey • 308-534-4563

CONFESSION Tues. - Sat. 6:30 am Sat. afternoon - 4:00 pm - 5:00pm or by appointment

First Assembly of God 808 West Philip • 532-3286 Pastor Gary Goodwin

Fr. Joshua Brown Deacon Matthew Irish | Deacon Mark Lister | Deacon Eric Parker

SUNDAY 9 am • Sunday School, 10 am • Morning Worship 6 pm • Evening Worship TUESDAY 9:30 am • Ladies Bible Study & Prayer WEDNESDAY 7 pm • Royal Rangers (boys) Missionettes (girls); Adult Prayer & Bible Study (A Staffed Nursery)

Facebook: St. Patrick’s Catholic Church of North Platte 2 Easy Ways to Connect to Flocknote 1. Visit 2. Text StPatricks to 84576

SUNDAY 8:45 a.m. • *Classic Praise Worship Livestreamed – Facebook* / YouTube* 9:45 a.m. • Coffee & Donuts 10:00 a.m. • Sunday School/Bible Class 11:00 a.m. • New Song Praise Worship

Option 2: You can also download myParish app in the App Store or Google Play. Then find our parish under “Find a Parish”

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