USD 437 discusses COVID-19 contingency plans for upcoming school year

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 10:35 PM CDT
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SHAWNEE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - The Auburn-Washburn school district discussed COVID-19 contingency plans at a board meeting Monday night.

The board is paying close attention to the situation around the state - and the Shawnee County health department.

The board spent the summer developing a contingency plan - should any new county or statewide orders go into effect.

“Most importantly we want to stick together as a school community and do everything we can to meet the needs of kids this upcoming year,” said USD 437 Superintendent Dr. Scott McWilliams.

That starts with a color-coded system that matches up with re-opening phases.

“Phase three, the green phase for us, means the opportunity for kids to come back to school is present and so we’re going to do everything that we can to meet academic needs in-person, kids in school,” McWilliams said.

The yellow phase is more restrictive.

“It would be a hybrid approach, so we’d have a rotation system for student’s schedules,” he said.

That means some students in school - and some students home because fewer students on campus make social distancing easier.

“We’ll continue to refine and tweak all the way up until that very first day with students which for us is august 13th,” McWilliams said.

Finally the red phase - lining up with phase one of the state’s Ad-Astra plan.

The red phase is an all-online approach - with schools closed down almost entirely.

“Our hope is that we’re able to have students back on our campus all school year this upcoming school year. Is that going to be a realistic expectation? Who knows yet, but we’re certainly making plans,” McWilliams said.

Superintendents from around the state meet with the department of education Thursday - local districts also will meet this week.

The state board of education plans to approve guidelines for school reopening at its July 15th meeting.

USD-437 will refer to those, and expects to release its procedures by the 20th.

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