The North Bend Eagle


VB masks
The NBC volleyball team is all masked up as it listens to coach Amy Sterup during a timeout this season. Local health departments say precautionary measures such as mask wearing have kept COVID-19 numbers low in schools and have taken steps to make it less likely schools have to halt in-person instruction.

Policy change more likely to keep kids in school

Published 11/11/20

NORTH BEND – Area schools, including North Bend Central, are adjusting their COVID-19 guidelines to keep students physically in school as much as possible and making a shift to online classes less likely.

“Schools are the safest place for kids to be, including during this pandemic,” NBC superintendent Dan Endorf said. “So we will do everything we can to keep them in school until staff attendance becomes overly problematic or momentum from the virus causes us to pause our operation for a short time.”

NBC was one of 29 public and private schools to meet last week with Three Rivers Public Health Department and Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department to discuss schools’ protocols that follow the risk dial.

The risk dial, used by Three Rivers and Elkhorn Logan Valley public health departments, uses eight data points on a three-week rolling average. The risk dial is broken into four colors associated with the level of risk: Low level/Green, Moderate/Yellow, High/Orange and Severe/Red. The current 3RPHD risk dial for Dodge and Saunders counties can be found on the COVID-19 page.

Each of the 29 public and private schools involved in the meeting has created its own protocols associated with the level of risk identified weekly by the dial. Until this point, schools have had plans to transition from in-class learning to a hybrid or fully remote model in the Orange and Red levels. Now, with guidance from Three Rivers and Elkhorn Logan Valley health departments, schools are announcing they will plan to keep students in class as much and for as long as possible, even if the school enters the Orange or Red threat level.

“We have learned a lot in the past three months,” said 3RPHD Executive Director Terra Uhing, “and because of the terrific work our schools are doing, we have found that keeping students in school is the safest place for them to be. School staff and students are wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing on a frequent basis. Because of all of these efforts we have found very little transmission of COVID-19 among students and staff members within our schools.”

North Bend Central has been using its own risk dial since late summer. Endorf said because of the sheer size of Fremont and the effect it has on the 3RPHD Dodge County risk dial, that the county-wide risk dial is not always relevant to NBC.

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