Handwashing, masks among fall guidelines for Kansas schools

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Draft safety guidelines for school this fall from the Kansas State Department of Education say students, teachers, and staff should wear masks, but that students up to fifth or sixth grade shouldn’t be required to wear them unless local officials mandate it.

The guidelines were shared with superintendents and were formally presented to the State Board of Education.

The guidelines say everyone should wash their hands when arriving at school and every hour afterward. Space should be made in classrooms to allow social distancing. Locker use is discouraged and staggered transition time between classes is recommended for those schools that choose to use them.

If someone in a school tests positive for COVID-19, school officials could close buildings for several days or close rooms where the infected person studies or works for thorough cleanings. In communities that have moderate to high levels of restrictions outside of the school system, the draft suggests districts should consider staggering attendance.

Some districts have begun public discussions about reopening. The Shawnee Mission school district is considering three scenarios for reopening on Aug. 17: Students returning to in-person classes, students staying home and learning online, or a mix of the two.

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