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District extends school closure through early May

Bear River’s library sits empty while schools remain closed. Photo by Karissa Johnson

As of March 27, the closure of all Nevada Joint Union High School District (NJUHSD) schools has been extended through May 1, instead of the original return date of April 13. 

Assistant Superintendent Dan Frisella announced the extended closure in a recent all-call and email. 

“In continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible, NJUHSD will extend the closure of all schools in the district, through May 1st,”  said Mr. Frisella. “This decision was made in concurrence with Nevada County Public Health, the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools office, and all other public schools in Nevada County.”

Students expressed their feelings on the closure. 

“It’s probably going to get extended to the rest of the year so it feels like a meaningless date unfortunately,” said Junior Amber Bell. 

Sophomore Megan McDaniel expressed a very different perspective and felt as though the extension was rushed. 

“They should have waited to make the decision,” McDaniel said. 

Others like Junior Noah Dunhower saw both the ups and downs of the situation. 

“It is a nice break, but there are pros and cons for everyone,” said Dunhower. “Especially for programs with cancelled events.”

Mr. Frisella went on to encourage the community to listen to the state’s ‘shelter-in-place’ order. 

“During this time, all residents are expected to strictly adhere to the ‘shelter-in-place’ order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom and to stay home, except for essential activities, until further notification from the county health department,” he said. “Nevada Joint Union High School District will continue with the Distance Learning protocols that began this week.“

In a column written by Superintendent Brett McFadden and published in The Union on March 25, prior to the announcement of the extended closures, he commented on this school year as a whole. 

“This school year has been an inconceivable struggle, marked by a series of hurdles,” said Mr. McFadden. “We lost six instructional days due to snow, smoke and Public Safety Power Shut-offs. Now we face the most formidable threat yet. However, I remain optimistic that our community will get through this and quickly get back to normal. The NJUHSD is proving we can be adaptable and flexible. We are making adjustments daily, and tackling moment-by-moment obstacles created by the coronavirus pandemic.”

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District extends school closure through early May