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Nebraska schools brace for shutdown, Ricketts says he could shut down schools for 6-8 weeks

Posted at 6:22 PM, Mar 13, 2020

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Governor Pete Ricketts says he's prepared to shut down schools and large gatherings for six to eight weeks, if there's community spread, where they can no longer track down who spread the coronavirus.

This is making school districts get creative, with the state stepping in to help schools that need the resources for e-learning. Millard Public Schools equips every student from 3rd to 12th grade with a laptop or iPad, something they already use during snow days.

"It'll make that more intense, right? It'll be an opportunity for our kids to have more opportunities to learn as well as an opportunity for our teachers to do some really creative, out of the box things,” says Dr. Jim Sutfin, superintendent at Millard Public Schools.

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter says every student will begin remote learning after spring break, something they've been preparing and testing for, for a while.

"It may actually change the face of how we educate. We want to get this right and we want to make sure we're thinking through this. We want to make sure we're going to do everything from even commencement exercises, how would we do that virtually if we had to,” says Ted Carter, president of the University of Nebraska.

Shutting down schools is also a problem for kids who rely on schools for food. If they shut down for a long time, schools will use the summer food program to make sure all students can eat.

"Basically it's going to be a grab-and-go situation for any student, regardless of poverty level," says Sutfin.