Checkout day at school is an exciting day for all ages. Seniors are happy to be done, junior high and high school students are thankful for no more homework, the middle schoolers and elementary students are ready to have play dates everyday and the teachers are excited for a much needed break. This year, the checkout process is different due to the pandemic and Governor Kelly’s restrictions.
The 2020 Kansas Scholastic Press Association state competition looked a little different than usual, but WHS journalist still captured some awards. Instead of traveling to the University of Kansas, the writing competitions took place online in mid-April. All students who placed at the regional competition in February were eligible to compete. Three WHS students captured state championships. Eleanor Badeker in Copy Editing, Karlee Feyh in Advertising (her entry is pictured above) and Emma Frey in Editorial writing.
Although the buildings are empty, USD 329 is still educating students through a Continuous Learning Plan. In mid-March, Governor Laura Kelly closed all Kansas school buildings for the remainder of the school year because of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing USD 329 and the other school districts to continue students’ education from outside the classroom.
At 4 p.m. yesterday, governor Laura Kelly announced that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. Details about alternative learning via small groups, packets or online assignments will be figured out in the coming weeks, according to an email superintendent Brad Starnes sent to staff. “We're in uncharted waters. We want to be proactive and help our kids,” Starnes wrote. Students, teachers and parents shared their initial response to the news.
Even with the coronavirus restriction, the USD 329 Board of Education met for its monthly meeting, taking precautions to ensure the safety of the members. During the meeting, the board members distanced themselves from each other and the meeting was live-streamed via the district’s Facebook page to follow the new CDC coronavirus guidelines of no more than 10 people in a gathering.
Wabaunsee students will be out of school for at least two more weeks. Wabaunsee County Health Administrator Ray Finley has made the decision to close both school districts in Wabaunsee County for two weeks, until March 30, including all activities and athletic events, the district announced Saturday afternoon. The precautions are part of a nation-wide attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Wabaunsee placed first as a team at the Kansas Scholastic Press Association Regional Journalism Competition February 19. The contests, which consist of writing, editing, illustrating, photography and design, pit students against other high school journalists around the state. Wabaunsee competed in the 1-2A Harvest regional against Ellsworth, Flint Hills Christian School, Hope, Kansas City Christian and Lincoln. WHS placed first with 17 state qualifiers. WHS students placed first in four events: Eleanor Badeker in both copy editing and news writing, Laurel Barber in sports writing and Emma Frey in editorial writing.
After many board meetings discussing the facilities and bond options, the board was able to pass a motion for an election to occur on May 12 at 6 polling places in the district for the potential 25 year bond, on Option 16. The regular board meeting started with continued discussion to answer a few leftover questions over the facilities. Once the board had most of their questions answered, a motion was made for Option 10 to be the option moving forward. The potential K-12, Option 10, was seconded, but failed with a vote of 2-5. Seconds later, another motion was made, but for Option 16. The motion was seconded, and passed 4-3. Now it is up to the community to vote either for or against the K-6 in Paxico and 7-12 in Alma.