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Special Board of Education Meeting, Sept. 28

At the direction of the Board of Education, the superintendent formed a COVID Advisory Committee to make recommendations on COVID-19 school gating criteria to assist the Board in making decisions about future learning environments for students.

The committee met on Thursday, September 24, and agreed that the primary objective for the district is to get students back to full in-person learning as quickly and safely as possible. The committee reviewed the most localized data available relating to the five data points of the Board-approved Kansas Schools Gating Criteria for COVID-19. The data included student absenteeism, two-week county percent positive case rate, two-week cumulative county incidence rate, trend in county incidence rate, and local hospital capacity. Discussions also acknowledged the importance of student and staff mental health and overall wellbeing.

Recommendation
After reviewing the data and deep discussion, the committee reached consensus to recommend that the district is currently in the Yellow category of the gating criteria. A detailed report will be presented to the Board of Education at a special meeting scheduled for Monday, September 28.

The Board will consider the committee’s recommendation and then decide whether to change the learning environment for students.

Comments to Board of Education
Parents who desire to submit comments to the Board of Education may do so electronically in advance of the meeting. > Submit Comments to the Board by noon on Monday, Sept. 28.

The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. on Monday at the Board of Education and will be livestreamed.
> https://bit.ly/usd232youtube. Seating will be limited to allow for appropriate social distancing.

COVID Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee is made up of 17 individuals to consider data in relation to the Kansas Schools Gating Criteria. The makeup of the committee is as follows:

  • Five parents/patrons from across the district;
  • Five staff members (an elementary teacher, a secondary teacher, one member each of the health services, district mental health and human resources team);
  • Three outside experts (a public health professional, a medical professional, and a mental health professional); and
  • Four ex officio members (three Board of Education members and superintendent).

Superintendent Frank Harwood serves as Advisory Committee chair.

Timeline for possible change in learning environment
Currently, the school district is operating within the Hybrid Learning Environment for grades K-12. Should the Board of Education approve a change in the learning environment for elementary and/or secondary students, then it could take effect on Thursday, October 8. Any change in learning environment will be for students who are enrolled in the On-Site Learning Model. Families will receive additional information on Tuesday, September 29.