WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The USD 259 Board of Education met Tuesday evening to discuss the gating and learning model for the second quarter of the 2020-21 school year. The board voted 4-2 for Option 1 – which is the blended onsite/MySchoolRemote model for middle and high schools for the second nine-week quarter beginning Nov. 9. There will be no changes to elementary.
The blended plan for secondary schools consists of two groups, group A and group B. Group A would be on site Monday and Tuesday. Group B would go on-site Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is a remote day for all.
“None of the options are perfect, and you know at the end of the day, we really want our kids face to face, and we don’t want COVID-19, but we have it so we really want to try and get the kids back into school,” said USD 259 Superintendent Alicia Thompson.
With the coronavirus pandemic, high school and middle school students in the Wichita Public Schools system have been remote learning through online schooling. Some educators, parents, and teachers thought it’s time for students to return to onsite schooling.
“I am pleased at least they will be going back some, should be an improvement over where we were,” said Paul Taylor, USD 259 parent.
Wichita Public Schools shared that since August 1, 1.6% of staff and .15% of students have tested positive for COVID-19, and 4.5% of the staff is in quarantine.
The United Teachers of Wichita president shared concerns for safety and the adjustment of teachers before the meeting.
“We’re not getting subs, kids are getting farmed out between classes, teachers are having to give up planning time to teach those classes, and it’s just going to get worse when we bring in middle and high school as well,” said Kimberly Howard.
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