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Nespelem School looking at bringing students back to campus

The Nespelem School District will hold a public Zoom meeting with parents of students next week to see how they think and feel about students returning to physical school.

That meeting will be held on Nov. 4 at 5:30 p.m. at

Principal and Superintendent Effie Dean told The Star on Thursday that kindergarten- through second-grade students would be the first to return, and that the next group of students would come three weeks later. Nespelem School serves about 150 k-12 students.

Students would return to school but still continue with distance learning in a hybrid model of the two, but eventually, Dean said, they hope to have all the students returned to full-time, in-person school sometime in January, unless the COVID-19 pandemic picks up.

Distance learning will continue through the end of the year, Dean said, for those students whose parents don’t want to send them back to physical school this year.

Dean said that distance learning has been going well.

The school has handed out about 140 Chromebooks and over 50 hotspot devices that connect to a Verizon cell tower to beam internet to devices.

“We have been trying to get as many kiddos on internet as possible,” Dean said.

Aside from about 16% of students who haven’t been engaged with school, whom the school is working on communicating with, she said participation from the students has been good, using Google Classroom and Zoom on the internet, and paper packets.

Teachers will also sometimes meet students outside the school to help instruct them, Dean said.

“It gets better every week,” Dean said about distance learning, adding that the teachers have gotten much better at it, as well. “They are all very excited to have kids back. We’re kid people; we miss them.”


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