Kendyl Bolinder | @Bolinderkendyl
After seeing a recent spike in Wabaunsee county’s COVID-19 cases, the USD 329 Board of Education decided to follow the Health Department’s recommendation to switch to remote learning until after Thanksgiving break.
Since the beginning of the month, Wabaunsee has been ambushed with 152 new cases. According to superintendent Brad Starnes, at last count there were an estimated seven WHS students in isolation and 15 in quarantine. After the number of high school student absences rose to the “Red” area, the board unanimously approved the motion to go completely remote in its November 9 meeting.
All practices and activities are suspended until the anticipated return date of November 27, delaying the planned November 16 start of winter activities. The board also decided not to allow spectators at junior high events going forward, as contact tracing has linked this rapid increase in cases to mass gatherings outside of the county.
“All parties involved in the decision want to keep things as normal as possible while controlling what we can control,” Starnes said.
High school students are expected to attend most classes through zoom daily, or contact their teachers in some way to get assignments and take attendance. Other district schools are still attending class in-person at this time.
Starnes said “The expectation with remote learning is that students stay in as normal as possible time, schedule and routine. Get up, get online and stay up to date with your assignments.”
The goal is to transition back to in person learning as safely and quickly as possible.
“By being a ‘The Leader in Me’ school district, we work to help students be responsible for their own destinies. If we all take personal responsibility, we can get back to school as normal as possible. By being disciplined it will create freedom, the freedom to come to school on-site and participate in all school activities,” Starnes said.