The health and welfare of USD 335 students and staff is of the upmost importance and the COVID-19 situation has been monitored closely during spring break. This morning Jackson County Health & School Officials met to discuss school closures in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In that meeting, with guidance from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, it was decided that schools in Jackson County will remain open unless there is an active case of COVID-19 in our school community. In addition to consulting with KDHE, school officials have also conversed with the Kansas Department of Education, and it was reaffirmed that school closure is not recommended at this time if there is no active or suspected case of COVID-19 in our school.
Dr. Ahmed, the Kansas State Epidemiologist from KDHE, has stated the goal is not for a “no risk” environment in our schools and communities, but a “low risk” environment. What does this mean? Reasonable precautions will be taken to protect our students and staff. Examples include:
- Families should follow school policies already in place. Students should not come to school until they are fever free without medicine for 24 hours. Students with active coughs should also stay home from school.
- USD 335 students and staff will follow KDHE guidance which includes using appropriate cleaners, incorporating more handwashing breaks in the school day and having more space between students.
Please keep in mind COVID-19 guidance continues to change and USD 335 families should be prepared for a child care plan in the event the school is closed in the future. Individual families also have the right to make a decision about school that they feel is in the best interest of their household. If a local health department, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the President of the United States or the Kansas Governor requires the closure of a school due to an active COVID-19 case, schools will have three options:
- Make up the missed school days by June 30, 2020.
- Submit a proposal to KSDE for the delivery of e-learning to be counted as seat time.
- Submit a petition to the Kansas State Board of Education and the Kansas Commissioner of Education to waive the legally required minimum number of hours and days schools must be in session.
If there is an identified case of the virus in our school, families should expect that the school will most likely be shut down for a minimum of 14 days at which time the situation will be reassessed. If a local school district decides independently (without the recommendation of KDHE and the local health department, the President or the Governor) to close schools, the school would be required to make up all lost time by June 30, 2020.
It is extremely important to get accurate information about COVID-19. Here are some reliable sources:
The COVID-19 situation will continue to be monitored closely. More guidance continues to come out every day as more is learned about the coronavirus. Please do not hesitate to contact any of the USD 335 offices with questions.