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Governor to Delay School Until After Labor Day

Jeremy BohnJuly 15, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly today announced that on Monday, she will sign an executive order to delay opening schools until after the Labor Day holiday.

“I can’t in good conscience open schools when cases in our state are at an all-time high and continuing to rapidly rise,” Governor Kelly said.“Every action I have taken throughout this pandemic has been done to keep Kansans healthy, keep our state open for business and get our kids back in school.”

The Governor made this decision in consultation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Education, which continue to monitor health metrics and disease spread in the state.

On Monday, a record coronavirus spike pushed Kansas past 20,000 total cases. ICU capacity in some of the state’s hospitals are under threat, and nearly 300 Kansans have died.

The Governor will also issue an executive order requiring schools to mandate commonsense mitigation strategies outlined in the Kansas Board of Education’s fall plan for schools. Under the order, masks, social distancing, proper hygiene, and daily temperature checks will be enforced regardless of the Kansas school district.

“The additional three weeks before opening schools will provide schools time to work with their counties to get the necessary mitigation supplies like masks, thermometers, and hand sanitizer,” Governor Kelly said. “The Kansas State Board of Education and I are united in prioritizing the health of our students and faculty, and ensuring we provide a world-class education for our students.”

Further details will be announced next week after the order is released.

_ _ _

UPDATE: Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is delaying the start of school in the fall until after Labor Day. The Governor said she will issue an executive order next week. The executive order will apply to high school athletics and activities. The Kansas State High School Activities Association will provide an update this Friday.

Kelly, along with KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman and Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson announced details during a media conference.

 

School districts around the state of Kansas received guidance on the reopening process earlier in the day.

 

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School districts around the state of Kansas receive guidance on the reopening process for schools in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kansas Department of Education board members voted 9-0 in favor of accepting the “Navigating Change: Kansas’ Guide to Learning and School Safety Operations” document on Wednesday morning.

The document–which had more than 80 educators, healthcare and public health officials, parents and legislators as authors of the operations side–lays out a road map for school districts in the state to deal with the uncertainties of COVID-19 and the potential spread in schools.

The document highlights three types of learning environments: on-site, hybrid and remote. Hybrid and remote environments are encouraged when community restrictions for COVID-19 are moderate or high causing school capacity to be reduced or restricted as explained below:

Guidance from that Kansas Department of Health and Environment says that schools should consult with their local health environment to identify what learning environment should be considered using case counts.

While the KDHE plans to work with school districts on a case-by-case basis, the government agency says that there are no plans as of now to mandate when school should or should not be opened.

 

Staff members at schools across Kansas are encouranged to have their temperature taken on a daily basis once they are screened for symptims. Those with a fever should be sent home without further entry in to the building.

Meanwhile, schools are asked to establish with the local health department at-home screenings metrics for students that can be communicated out to families. Staff should monitor students on a daily basis for signs/symptoms of illness. If a student is ill, they should be sent home.

With the guidance accepted by the State Board, they remind everyone that this document is just guidance, there are no mandates.

KSAL News will continue to follow developments.

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2020. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.



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