USD 501 unanimously approves COVID-19 re-opening plan

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 10:35 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka Public School board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve the district’s new COVID-19 re-opening plan.

The plan is still fluid, allowing things to change as the virus changes.

With the guidelines in place - teachers and parents can finally start preparing for the upcoming semester.

The 501 district’s re-opening plan is split into three phases - the current phase with high COVID-19 rates means students will be learning entirely online.

Phase two is a hybrid - two days a week in the classroom - and three online - with students tuning into the classroom via video chat.

Phase three means everyone back into the classroom - but it’ll take time to get there.

“Rushing to failure, with having all of the students at one time, would not only be dangerous, but would be quite complicated,” said Dr. Tiffany Anderson, 501′s superintendent.

The district plans to start class after labor day entirely online - over the course of a few days, they’ll begin bringing students into classrooms with the hybrid plan.

First they’ll require everyone to wear masks - the district will give each student and staff member two reusable ones.

Getting into the building means temperature checks - both on the buses and at school doors.

The classroom itself will look different too - fewer students in class at once mean desks will be assigned, spaced out further, and shields will be installed.

If parents are nervous about sending their kids back to the classrooms - they can opt-in to an all online option.

The district’s next order of business is communication.

They want to be sure parents, students, and staff understand all of the new requirements and details.

The district will post the re-opening plan on the 501 website Friday morning.

The district will also host a debriefing session with parents on its Facebook page Friday at 10:00 a.m.

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