Although untrue, a myth about ostriches is that they bury their heads in the sand when danger is near. COVID-fatigue can lull us into the head-in-the-sand wishful thinking that this pandemic is in the past. Even though we are faced with these challenges, the district’s mission of Preparing Kids and Shaping the Future remains the same.
Our goal continues to be to educate children in our schools. USD 113 will not be offering remote learning as an option to students this year. HB 2134, passed by the Kansas Legislature in 2021, includes the following, “… no school district, beginning in school year 2022, shall provide or offer more than 40 hours of remote learning to any student enrolled in the school district. The bill allows boards of education to authorize individual students to temporarily attend school through remote learning in excess of the 40-hour limitation when the student cannot reasonably attend in person due to illness, injury or other extraordinary circumstance.”
The USD 113 Board of Education passed the “District Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services” at the July 12 meeting. This document addresses relevant information. Two highlights from the plan are:
USD 113 has removed the mask mandate based on vaccination rates and infection rates for the three campuses and surrounding communities. Individuals who desire to wear a mask may do so on school property. USD 113 schools will comply with public health orders as required by law. At the local level, the USD 113 Board of Education is responsible for determining the need for the wearing of masks.
USD 113 personnel will continue to provide information and support to the County Health Departments, through the oversight of the Kansas Department of Health and Safety, as they direct contract tracing, issue quarantine orders, etc.
Some important items to note:
• While not offering remote learning, USD 113 personnel will work with parents to examine potential solutions for children who have health issues. To begin this process, parents please contact your building’s administrator with specific health information about your child.
• Students who have been vaccinated and are asymptomatic are not required to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case.
• The mask to mask exemption for quarantine is still in place. If a masked student is exposed to another masked student who becomes a positive case, quarantine is not required.
USD 113 will continue to implement mitigation practices, including hand washing/sanitizing, wiping down surfaces, etc. The patience and understanding of the public during these difficult times is appreciated.