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Nebraska schools and COVID-19 is a podcast focused on how schools across Nebraska are affected by COVID-19. In it, reporter Kylie Graham speaks with members of the school community about their experiences.

Episode 1: Student teaching

The Gibbon Public School district has made changes this year, based on the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations. The result is extended outdoor recess time, frequent cleaning and disinfecting and masks. Abigail Heller, a student-teacher at Gibbon Elementary School, shares the challenges and successes of student-teaching.

Episode 2: Special education

Special education students often have different needs than the rest of the student population. Remote learning, mask-wearing and social distancing are not possible in many cases. Penny Brown, a special education supervisor for the Grand Island Public School district discusses how the district adapted to COVID-19 regulations and resource teacher Jen Kurpgeweit shares how those plans are working in the classroom.

Episode 3: After-school programs

57,201 K-12 students are enrolled in after school programs in Nebraska. In this episode, Civic Nebraska’s Youth Civic programs manager, Renae Ninneman and Levi Eggers, the school community coordinator for Randolph Elementary, discuss the importance of afterschool programs and the impact of COVID-19 on the services they provide.

Episode 4: Assessments and learning 

Every fall and spring, students in Nebraska take the MAP assessment. This assessment data is used to help teachers measure student’s understanding of concepts in math, reading, language and science. In this episode, Principal Kaela Heneger from Springfield Elementary and Heidi Zierott, director of learning at Springfield Platteview Community Schools discuss the MAP assessment tool and the results they are seeing this year.