On October 23, we will begin providing weekly updates each Friday afternoon on our district Gating Criteria data and any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among our students and staff. This data will be sent out through IC Messenger (email) and our mobile app and will remain accessible on our district website each week.
As COVID-19 numbers in our county continue to rise, we want to make certain everyone in our school community is able to see up-to-date data. This data informs our decision-making as we consider the safest and most appropriate learning environment for our students. We are currently in our Yellow zone, which means our K-4 students are on-site and in-person each day, and our 5-12 students are in our building-specific hybrid models.
We want to make sure everyone remains "On Alert" for possible changes in our learning environments. If we needed to move to Orange, for example, the biggest day-to-day change would be that our 2nd and 4th graders would move to an off-site attendance center. 2nd graders would attend school at the Hesston MB Church and our 4th graders would attend at Whitestone Mennonite Church. You can see our Gating Criteria and how it impacts school and our operations by clicking here.
We also want to make sure everyone knows our steps and processes when we have a positive case identified in our school, whether it be a student or staff member. We will work with our staff and the health department to identify and communicate with all close contacts, which includes anyone within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more of the positive case. We will make a phone call to these families, and once a close contact is contacted, he or she will need to quarantine for 14 days. These calls will come from the principal and/or school nurse of the child's school, and there will likely be follow-up communication from the Harvey County Health Department.
We will also provide the following communication for a positive case in a respective school building. At HES, we will send an email to all parents who have children in a classroom with a positive case. At HMS, we will send an email to all parents who have a student in the same grade level as a positive case. At HHS, we will send an email to all parents who have a student in the same session, either morning or afternoon, as the positive case. So, if the positive case is a morning student at HHS, we will email parents who have a student who attends in the morning, and we will do the same for afternoon students should the positive case attend in the afternoon. You can see a visual summary of how we will respond to positive cases by clicking here.
Schools across Kansas are experiencing positive cases and quarantines. We have been fortunate thus far to have relatively few COVID-related absences in USD 460, but we want to make sure everyone stays on-alert and follows our safety protocols:
- Wash Hands
- Wear Masks
- Social Distance
- Stay Home When Sick
As always, you can find a good amount of information on our overall approach to COVID-19 by clicking here. Thanks to everyone for being so committed to keeping our kids in school each day and for doing your part to make sure they can participate in the activities they enjoy. We've had a very solid start to the school year and look forward to the days ahead. As always, please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns on anything at all. Our office number is 620-327-4931 and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.