Local districts left to determine details of back to school plans


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Local school districts are making plans to keep students safe as they head back to the classroom this fall.

On Monday Governor Kelly announced that all students will have to wear masks, social distance, and do daily temperature checks.

However, many of the other details are left up to local districts.

When it comes time for fall learning options, the Geary County School District will look a little different from the Shawnee Heights School District.

Geary County is asking parents to pick either online learning or in-person learning.

At Shawnee Heights, they’re still weighing options and planning to offer online learning possibly alongside other plans.

For both districts the goal is the same. Geary County District’s Assistant Superintendent Lacee Sell said they’re putting the students first.

“As we go forward, whatever the question is we want the guiding answer to be what’s best for kids. We’re here for kids, that’s why we got into this profession,” Sell said.

Shawnee Heights Superintendent Matt Hirsch said they’re seeing a lot of families who want to return to the classroom. In a survey of more than 3,000 families, 65% said they wanted traditional in school learning

“This kind of helped guide discussions in our group about what this all might look like,” Hirsch said.

Both districts are making detailed plans for regular cleaning and finding different ways to keep students apart as much as possible.

As they navigate these big changes, they’re doing the best they can to come up with answers and keep teachers and families updated.

Geary County Superintendent Dr. Reginald Eggleston said they’re working hard to be prepared.

“The last couple of months we’ve had so many ‘what if?’ type questions asked of us. What if this happens? What if that happens?” Eggleston said. “Really what we’re just trying to do is make sure that the individuals on the ground know how to respond and feel comfortable responding in the event that something does happen.”

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