Northwest Public Schools will be closed through May 1.

In a statement to district parents, Superintendent Jeff Edwards said that based on recommendations from the Two Rivers, Central District, and Loup Basin health departments, Northwest will extend its facility closure date to students to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“A decision of this magnitude would not be made if we did not feel that it was necessary to help ensure the general welfare and safety of our communities,” Edwards said. “We will meet with our public health departments on April 15 to review current health information that is available at that time.”

He said Northwest will begin its second week of review and enrichment activities for students next week. A notification was sent to parents identifying times that their students’ buildings will be open to pick up materials.

District teachers have begun the planning process to move to an online learning platform April 6. A new set of lessons will be planned for each week, Edwards said. The first set of activities will go out then. Teachers will communicate with their classes through Google Classroom (grades 3-8), SeeSaw (grades K-2), Zoom and email.

He said student devices were issued this past week. However, if students were unable to pick one up, are having technology difficulties or have questions about their school device, they should contact Brian Gibson at bgibson@ginorthwest.org or Heather Callihan at hcallihan@ginorthwest.org.

Edwards said the district is postponing all major activities, including prom and its spring musical. Depending on the length of the school closure, if a date can be identified to reschedule an event, the district will make every attempt to do so.

Graduation is still scheduled for May 17. The district has not moved or rescheduled the ceremony, he said.

“As the date comes closer, we will make the necessary modifications to the date, format, etc., based on recommendations from our local health departments,” Edwards said. “We will communicate any changes as the time grows closer.”

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