Manhattan-Ogden superintendent reviewing back-to-school pandemic plans
MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - With COVID-19 cases rising in Riley Co., USD 383 is reviewing its back-to-school plans.
Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade told Manhattan-Ogden board members at their meeting Wednesday night that administrators return to work Thursday, and will begin a review of their pandemic plan. They will determine whether any changes are necessary, and hope to provide an update to parents and staff by the end of next week.
Wade did not announce any possible changes, but acknowledged the topic of COVID-19 “picked up steam again if it ever went away at all.” Rily Co. Health officials held a news conference earlier Wednesday to discuss a recent uptick in cases and hospitalizations.
A draft plan for “safe return to in-person instruction” posted on the district’s web site calls for full on-site learning, with masks encouraged (but not required) for those who are not vaccinated, and social distancing practiced as much as possible.
Wade said he’ll use input from administrators and their medical advisory committee to decide what adjustments, if any, should be made to the plan.
“We were hoping by now that we would not even be having the conversation about masks; that the vaccinations would be there for children under 12; that some of those things would not be issues and we would be back to normal at the start of this school year,” Wade told the board. “The last three weeks have changed some of those conversations, but we’re still in a better position than we were at this time last year.”
Wade said conversations currently center on having a variety of mitigation strategies, and using a layered approach, where perhaps various measures are removed one at a time or utilized in different combinations.
Wade also joined health officials in urging all students aged 12 and older to get their COVID-19 vaccination. He said the health department will be at their district’s central registration event, 7 am to 6 pm July 30, at Manhattan High School West Campus.
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