Topeka Public Schools to transition to remote learning


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Health Department released its Community Transmission Scorecard Thursday, showing the county is at an uncontrolled level.

This is the second consecutive week Shawnee County was in the uncontrolled range.

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Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Superintendent for Topeka Public Schools USD 501, announced the decision to transition to remote learning Thursday.

The county has shared the following regarding the community spread:

  • All measures in the county have worsened since last week. 
  • Total cases in the county per week are at a very high level (over 700, a 126% increase since last week). 
  • The Health Department had more cases reported in the first 10 days of November than the entire month of October.

The district said as a proactive step, the increase in the number of staff impacted due to the spread is preventing them from being able to successfully support in-person learning safely.

TPS said the following factors were reviewed in making this decision:

  • The district believes it must act proactively to prevent a significant spread in Topeka Public Schools at this time.
  • The traditional staff absences during this time of the year along with the COVID -19 related absences that are due to the community exposure are creating widespread staffing shortages that cannot be covered effectively across the district.
  • The district’s internal scorecard has shown an increase in community contact cases, although it remains at 1% for staff and below 1% for students. The TPS Positive Case Rate Scorecard shows the cases we have had in Topeka Public Schools, which has increased from last week.
  • The Shawnee County Community Transmission Scorecard shows an uncontrolled rating and has steadily increased.
  • KDHE has reported the increased spread and clusters in our community although it has not impacted the Topeka School System yet.

TPS will transition to remote learning starting Monday and will continue remote learning through Thanksgiving. The district said it will assess the status of the community spread throughout November and will provide families with weekly updates.

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