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USD 345, 437, 450 approve hybrid reopening plans

Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 11:00 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Several local schools districts finalized plans for bringing students safely back to school - and when to do so.

The Seaman, Auburn-Washburn, and Shawnee Heights boards of education all held meetings Monday night discussing reopening.

USD 345 Board President James Adams says the biggest concerns from parents, students and staff is the logistics of a new reopening plan.

”One of the predominant questions we’ve got from most folks is just the logistics. ‘When are you starting, and then what mode are you going to deliver education to our students?‘”

The Seaman and Auburn-Washburn boards voted to delay school by two weeks - to August 27th.

This gives teachers, students, and parents time to prepare for a new way of learning.

“This allows us to still do school, align with the executive order that is still standing and operate in a way that does give us some flexibility down the road should things worsen or improve,” Adams said.

The districts also approved similar three-tiered approaches to the year.

During peak times of virus transmission, the boards will shift into the all-online approach.

The all in-school model will only be used when virus transmission is minimal.

They’ll start the school year with a hybrid approach that rotates students in and out of the classroom.

This cuts the number of students in the building in half - while ensuring everyone gets time with teachers.

They say the new models will not be like last year’s ‘Crisis Teaching.'

It’s fundamentally improved - leaving room for change - while making sure kids learn safely.

“You have to adjust, you have to you know make arrangements for that and this is no different. This is now an invisible enemy if you will. We can’t see it, we don’t know where it is, we don’t know who might be coming in contact with who and so our best effort at that is to come up with options,” Adams said.

Later in the evening, the Shawnee Heights School district approved a hybrid re-opening plan of their own.

It’s a tiered approad, similar to both the Auburn-Washburn, and Seaman districts.

The Shawnee Heights board also voted to start school September 1st.

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