How long students have in-person after Topeka Public Schools says it’s returning to remote learning


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Students at Topeka Public Schools will go back to remote learning starting Jan. 19, the district announced Monday morning.

An email at 11:43 a.m. to parents alerted them to the change. The students will still have one week of in-person classes before going back to remote learning on next Tuesday. The district came back from winter break on Jan. 4 to in-person classes.

Our internal district staff COVID Positive Rate Scorecard remained low as we returned from the winter break. Given the predictions of having a red rating all winter, rather than remaining closed to students, we opened to give students some in-person learning support and social-emotional support in January. We hoped the winter predictions would improve, given the ever-changing nature of COVID-19, but cases have increased, and the prediction of the spread continuing all winter remains a possibility. 

Aarion L. Gray, Topeka Public Schools

TPS Director of Instructional Services Aarion L. Gray also mentioned that representatives from the school district are meeting with the Shawnee County Health Department weekly, and closely monitoring community spread. Together, they are assessing the coronavirus’ impact on USD 501’s ability to staff schools.

“We will reopen once we have two weeks of an orange rating, and we are hopeful that this will occur in the near future,” Gray said. “But based on the predictions, we are optimistic that we will be able to return after spring break in March. We hope many of our staff who want the vaccine will have their vaccines completed by that time.”

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