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Niobrara Public Schools

Return to Learn Plan/ESSERS III Spending


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Updated Return to Learn Plan 22/23


Niobrara Public Schools

Return to Learn Plan

SY 2022-2023

Return to School


School is scheduled to resume for K-12 students on Thursday, August 18, 2022 and the plan is for all students to be offered in person instruction.  Students will not be allowed on school grounds before 7:30 a.m. unless they are meeting with a teacher, coach, sponsor, or other staff member. The need may arise to move to an alternate schedule or remote learning at home.  Learning options for students who are unable to attend in person instruction, due to medical need or parent concern are outlined below.  It is the goal of Niobrara Schools to provide continued learning, with the support of families in the home, for all students who are unable to attend school.  The School will work diligently to communicate changes in schedules/plans.


Plans and decisions will be made and published on an as needed basis. This is an ever-changing situation. Changes to this plan prior to the start of the school year or changes during any academic quarter may be necessary. Changes will be made based on updated directed health measures, advice from public health, and advice from local medical professionals.The Niobrara School staff members want nothing but the best for each and every student and their families. Decisions will be made with the best interest of everyone in mind.  Please be understanding, compassionate, and flexible.


Educational Procedures

COVID Green: Low Risk of COVID-19 Spread​

  • All students in grades Pre-K through 12 will attend school in person.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to bring and wear their own appropriate, multilayered, cloth face coverings.


COVID Yellow: Minimal Spread)/Orange: Moderate Spread of COVID-19 

  • All students in grades Pre-K through 12 will attend school in person.
  • Accommodations will be made for K-12 students, who are unable to attend in person, to utilize synchronous online learning through Zoom and other remote learning tools. Synchronous means remote students log-on to receive instruction with their class at certain set times during the school day.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to bring and wear their own appropriate, multilayered, cloth face coverings.

COVID Red: High Risk of COVID-19 Spread​

  • All NPS buildings will be closed and all students will participate in remote learning from home.  Communication for COVID Red will be sent home should this occur.


Learning Options

  • In Person Learning/In Person Instruction (COVID Green, Yellow/Orange)
  • Blended (COVID Green, Yellow/Orange)TBD based on student needs.
  • Remote Learning (COVID Red) -TBD as needed.



  • Synchronized Learning:  Students will log-on to a technology device to receive instruction with their class at set times during the school day.
  • Blended Learning:  A combination of students learning in-person through instruction taking place at school and students learning through synchronized learning via Google Classroom/Canvas or other remote learning tools. This will take place when a student has been moved to quarantine status due to exposure to COVID or diagnosed with COVID.
  • Remote Learning:  Learning will take place outside of the school setting.  All students will receive instruction, via online resources, by the classroom teacher. 



Breakfast may be served in the cafeteria and the commons area or possibly in the classrooms.  Students may be allowed to eat breakfast in the cafeteria, indoor commons areas, or in their classrooms depending on supervision. Locations to eat will be communicated with students as needed.


Lunch may be served using the cafeteria, classrooms, gyms, multipurpose room and indoor commons areas as meal locations. PPE will be worn by food service staff members as appropriate.



Recess may be held in several places to provide adequate space for social distancing. The playground, and potentially other locations will be utilized. Supervision will be provided. If indoor recess is necessary, students will rotate between the gyms and activities in their classrooms. 



When riding in school transportation, facial coverings are encouraged. Hand sanitizer may be available for use when students enter and exit the van/bus. Screening prior to boarding school transportation may be required.


After-School Programming 

Students requiring academic support or assistance outside of normal school hours will be accommodated as much as possible.


Field Trips

Field trips will be at the discretion and approval of the superintendent depending on the current area health concerns

School Activities

  • Attendance at school activities may be modified.
    • Limiting guests
    • Limiting the number of students that perform/participate
    • Virtual attendance may be available
  • The safety measures listed in this document will be utilized as much as possible.
  • NPS will follow the guidelines set forth by the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA).
  • Events (music concerts, theatrical productions, athletic competitions, etc.):
    • Modifications may be necessary for safety reasons.
    • Attendance at these events may be modified:
      • Limiting guests
      • Limiting the number of students that perform / participate
      • Virtual attendance may be available.


Use of Facilities

Niobrara Public Schools reserves the right to limit or eliminate the use of District facilities. 


Positive Case / Exposure Response

  • The Public Health Department will communicate positive COVID-19 cases to school personnel, however that communication will be delayed.  It is vital for positive COVID-19 cases to be reported by families immediately to the school nurse or administration.  
    • Privacy and confidentiality is a must.
    • Personally identifiable information will not be shared with students, parents, or the general public, but it will be shared with staff members who need that information.
    • In an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible, necessary information will be shared with staff, students, and parents.
  • Positive Case: Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19, will not be allowed to attend school until directed by medical personnel. Students may participate in the educational process remotely if possible.
  • Exposure: Those determined to have had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, will not be allowed to attend school until directed by medical personnel.


Safety Measures

  • Screening & Symptoms
    • Screening
      • NPS may screen all students and staff 
      • Parents/guardians/staff are asked to closely monitor students and themselves for other symptoms such as cough, respiratory issues, and other general feelings of illness and are encouraged to stay home if not feeling well.
    • Symptoms
      • Students and staff members with a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees will be sent home and allowed to return to school when cleared by medical personnel
      • Students and staff members who have other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be sent home and allowed to return to school when cleared by medical personnel
      • Students who exhibit any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (or are sick in any way) should not be sent to school. 
  • Classroom Arrangement 
    • Social distancing guidelines will be followed as much as possible while students are in school/classrooms. 
    • Teachers will arrange classrooms in the safest way possible especially when there has been a concern or rise in cases. 
      • do not sit students directly across from each other in the classrooms
      • space desks apart (desks facing one direction with appropriate social distancing maintained) 
      • small group instruction should be spaced apart and all facing one direction  
      • non-essential classroom furniture should be eliminated
    • Seating charts may be requested for tracking purposes.  
  • Facial Coverings
    • Students and staff are encouraged to bring and wear their own appropriate, multilayered, cloth face coverings.
  • Entering/Exiting Facilities
    • Students and staff are encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands upon entering/exiting the building each day and throughout the day as necessary. Hand sanitizer will be available.
  • Environmental Safety & Cleaning Procedures
    • High-traffic surfaces will be sanitized frequently (door knobs and handles, automatic openers, light switches, handrails, drinking fountains, tables/desks, chairs, bathroom surfaces, etc.).
    • The school will provide vaccination clinics to all eligible staff and students as available.
  • Visitors
    • No unnecessary outside visitors will be permitted
    • All visitors must have an appointment, be screened, and have permission from school administration
    • All visitors will be encouraged to wear an appropriate, multilayered, cloth face coverings when in the building

The list of safety measures above is not all inclusive. Other safety measures will be utilized on a daily basis (See Appendix A). All implemented safety measures (listed or not) may be changed or ceased at any time. 



How to Clean and Disinfect


  • Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.
  • Clean surfaces using detergent followed by disinfectant.
  • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
    • More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use and alert level.
  • High touch surfaces include:
    • Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.


  • Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
  • Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection for up to 24 hours.
  • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.

Special considerations should be made for people with asthma and they should not be present when cleaning and disinfecting is happening as this can trigger asthma exacerbations.


Soft Surfaces

For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes

  • Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
  • Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.



For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and any touchpad surface.

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.


For clothing, towels, linens and other items

  • Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry. 
  • Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
  • Do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.


Cleaning and Disinfecting the Building or Facility if Someone is Sick

  • Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.
  • Vacuum the space if needed. Use a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if available.
    • Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. 
  • Once an area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use.
    • Students and Staff  without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work or school immediately after disinfection.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Outdoor Areas

  • Outdoor areas, like playgrounds in schools and parks generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection.
    • Do not spray disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds as it is not an efficient use of supplies and is not proven to reduce risk of COVID-19 to the public.
    • Surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars and railings should be cleaned routinely.
    • Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (mulch, sand) is not recommended.

When Cleaning

  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.
  • Additional PPE may be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used.
  • PPE should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
    • Always wash your hands immediately after removing PPE.

Hand Sanitizer

Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.

  • If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used.
  • Keep hand sanitizers away from fire or flame.
  • For children under six years of age, hand sanitizer should be used with adult supervision.
  • Always store hand sanitizer out of reach of children and pets.

Key Times to Wash Hands

  • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • After using the restroom.
  • Before eating or preparing food.
  • After contact with animals or pets.
  • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g., a child).


Additional safeguards for cleaning and disinfecting are being explored at this time and will be updated as new equipment and supplies are acquired.