Nebraska Governor Orders Schools To Operate Without Students Through May 31


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Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts recently announced that schools would be forced to operate without students through May 31.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced in a press conference on the night of Wednesday, April 1, that under a new Directed Health Measure, schools in Nebraska are ordered to operate without students in their buildings through Sunday, May 31 due to the spread of COVID-19. Westside High School seniors’ last instructional day of school is Friday, May 8, and K-11 students will now finish the school year on Wednesday, May 13. Under the new order, this means neither seniors nor any Westside students will return to their respective buildings this current school year, and online learning will be extended longer than originally predicted. 

Although this measure prohibits schools to operate with students in their buildings, it does not apply to staff working in schools. In addition to schools operating without students, Omaha’s 3 News Now also reported that a spokesperson for Governor Ricketts said in a press release that extracurricular activities were also canceled for this school year. 

Westside Community Schools Superintendent Mike Lucas sent an email to Westside community members addressing the new measure on the morning of Thursday, April 2.

“Governor Ricketts held a press conference last night,” Lucas stated. “He announced that he is requiring schools to be closed through May 31st. We now know that we will not be able to get back together in May with our students.”

Lucas included that Westside would continue with the current extended learning plan for the remainder of the school year, and that there would be more communication in the near future regarding any changes being made due to the new measure.

“Look for more info to come in the following days as we make adjustments and roll with the punches that seem to be never-ending,” Lucas stated. “Hang in there.”