Back to School in Central Nebraska Amid COVID-19

Back to School in Central Nebraska Amid COVID-19
Back to School sign in front of North Park Elementary in Broken Bow

BROKEN BOW–By the end of this week summer vacation will officially be over for area students as it is time to head back to school! New classes, freshly sharpened pencils, the Friday night lights, and seeing old friends are just some of the things to look forward to this time of year.

Most schools have already held their Back to School Nights and Open Houses and Anselmo-Merna and Broken Bow Schools hosted their Fall Sports Kickoffs this week.

North Park Elementary Principal Kim Jonas told KCNI/KBBN she is glad to have students and teachers return to school. Broken Bow Public Schools hosted its first day of class on Thursday, August 12. Click here for last week’s preschool open house story.

“It always seems like it comes fast but I always kind of tease it gets kind of lonely around here in the summer! It’s kind of nice when kids come back, and teachers come back, it’s fun to have people back,” Mrs. Jonas said.

In addition to schedule updates, school supply lists, employment opportunities, and the beginning of sports and activities, COVID-19 return-to-learning plans have also been a necessary part of the back-to-school conversation for local schools.

Sargent Public Schools posted to its website a “Return To School Plan 2021-22” outlining the requirements to receive federal funding which include a shared plan of school operations, community feedback, and health and safety plans. A draft of this year’s plan can be found here that includes a link to public comment survey questions that will be open until the end of the month.

Sargent Public Schools Covid-19 Health Plan Draft as part of a 2021-2022 public survey

Many local schools have released public information surrounding COVID-19 precautions and include (but not limited to) optional mask-wearing, frequent disinfecting, social distancing, use of bottle-filling stations instead of water fountains, accommodating children with disabilities, and coordination with state and local health officials.

Anselmo-Merna schools released its return to learning plan that the district will be “working with our families to provide academic and emotional support to students who must miss school because of illness.”

Ansley Public Schools released a letter outlining preparations with the statement, “we anticipate having a school year that is as normal as possible.”

Ansley Public Schools Back to School COVID-19 Letter 2021

KCNI/KBBN asked North Park Principal Kim Jonas how she feels about going back to school following a year and a half of shutdowns, virtual learning, mask wearing, quarantining,  and other restrictions. She said everyone has learned a lot during this time but hopes to get back to teaching as normal.

“I feel good. You know, hopefully we won’t have to go into some of those more restrictive actions but you know we learned some things and I think we’ll be better for it but it will be nice to hopefully be back to teaching as normal. That’s our hope,” Mrs. Jonas said.

Please view individual school district websites or contact the school directly for further back to school information regarding COVID-19.

Broken Bow

Litchfield Public Schools
Loup County Public Schools
Sandhills Public Schools
Sumner-Eddyville-Miller (SEM)
Thedford Public Schools