Kansas school districts adjusting for winter weather in an already challenging year

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BENTLEY, Kan. (KSNW) – With temperatures forecasted to plummet in the coming days, Some schools with outdoor classrooms are having to adapt.

Bentley Primary School created nine different outdoor classroom settings for this school year. Their principal, Adam Conard, is optimistic that it will still be filled in the winter months.

“A 100 percent going to be using this.”

Just like school officials brainstormed to create an outdoor classroom, they are getting creative to keep class outside in the cold months.

“We’re prototyping some heated vests coming up and then I have some heat structures that I’m waiting for final approval from the superintendent to hopefully be able to get in here soon,” Conard said.

Conard says they will still follow recess restrictions in place for winter weather.

“Instead of being able to do a 20-minute lesson, it may only be a five to ten-minute lesson and then we head back inside,” he said.

Circle Public Schools has also taken advantage of outside.

USD 375 Superintendent Don Potter says with winter taking that off the table they are thinking outside the box to social distance inside.

“You know, hallways. We have common spaces that are used to spread out better. Alternating through some of that with proper cleaning techniques, after one class leaves it and leaves to the next. Spreading out in auditoriums rotating through those places.”

USD 331 Superintendent Max Clark says they have moved students into different buildings to help social distance.

“We’re doing everything we can to protect and be safe and clean and sanitize. But, it could be a rough winter,” Clark said.

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