Some changes in store for Wichita students and parents for ’21-’22 school year

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The superintendent of Wichita Public Schools has released a tentative plan for getting schools back to a more normal routine in the 2021-2022 school year while still dealing with the remnants of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Alicia Thompson presented the plan to the school board over the noon hour. This is what it looks like so far:

WPS Advance
District Operational and Safety Plan for 21-22

Healthy Learning and Work Environments

  • Masks will be optional for all staff and students effective July 6, 2021
  • All public health measures will be followed (including travel restrictions, quarantine expectations, vaccination protocol, etc.)
  • Vaccinations are not required but strongly encouraged
  • Continued promotion of vaccination opportunities for students and adults based on eligibility
  • Hand sanitizing and cleaning supplies available for order via Oracle shopping list as they were during 20-21
  • Continued emphasis on handwashing
  • Air handling enhancements will continue
  • Flu protocol cleaning will continue through the year
  • Nurses will continue to monitor for illness and follow existing COVID protocols should there be concern about student or staff illness
  • Students and staff will be strongly encouraged to stay home if sick
  • COVID testing will continue to be available by appointment
  • Employees will utilize sic leave time should they have to quarantine based on Sedgwick County Health Department guidelines
  • A revised COVID protocol will be developed, based on the framework used during 20-21, to guide how WPS will handle those who are suspected of or have been confirmed with COVID-19

Learning Opportunities

  • Virtual learning is available through Education Imagine Academy; MySchool Remote will not be offered based on direction from the Kansas State Department of Education
  • Students will continue to have a one-to-one device and internet access available, and teachers will incorporate innovative technology use into classroom instruction in order to expand opportunities for all learners
  • Each IEP team (which includes the student’s parents) will assess the unique needs of each student and determine if any additional supports are necessary to provide that student with their free and appropriate public education
  • Focused attention is being directed to social-emotional learning and supports for students, as well as staff, as this area is one of three prioritized by stakeholders for the use of ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds

Student, Staff and Partner Activities

  • These activities will resume during the 21-22 school year following all health and safety guidelines in place for staff, students and visitors. If changes become necessary due to community health considerations, these activities may be modified.
    – Parent, community partner and volunteer activities
    – Field trip and school fundraising activities
    – Foreign exchange students will be allowed to enroll in WPS
    – Indoor and outdoor facility reservations
    – School activities including pep rallies, athletic events and performances
  • Employee and student travel may resume following the district’s Travel Guidelines during COVID-19 protocol (currently at Level 2 – Regular Travel with Restrictions)

Food Services

  • All students will eat at no cost (except a la carte) per federal guidelines
  • Household Income Survey will be used in lieu of federal free/reduced lunch form during 21-22
  • Meals will be distributed to students at school, and there will be no remote meal distribution sites
  • Menus will be similar to the pre-pandemic traditional lunch and breakfast program
  • Breakfast is a priority
    – Breakfast in the classroom will continue at all elementary schools
    – Secondary schools are developing plans for second chance breakfast or breakfast after the bell
  • Students who desire the a la carte addition to their lunch will be responsible for the cost of the a la carte items. Details will be provided to families at the beginning of the school year.

Any changes to the plan will be posted on the WPS Advance web page.

Parents who questions should email info@usd259.net.

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