KANSAS — Kansas education leaders release new recommendations for returning to school.
School starts in a matter of days for some Kansas districts.
State leaders say it’s ideal for students to attend class in person.
But that isn’t realistic, especially for larger communities.
Randy Watson, Kansas Education Commissioner, said, “You’re going to be operating in this in and out environment for a long time because you’re going to have an outbreak and you’re going to want to take precautions and then you’re going to roll out of that and that could even be true in our sparsely populated counties.”
Ann Mah, Kansas Board of Education, said, “When you look at all these things together, then this gives the districts a better way to work with the county health department to determine what is safe for our kids.”
If school leaders start to see coronavirus trends going in the wrong direction, schools can adjust by changing to more online classes, limiting visitors, or cancelling activities and sports.
“They’re going to have to balance what it is we would really like to be doing versus what we ought to be doing that is safe for kids, and it’ll be a big balancing act.”
State officials say the biggest goal should be keeping elementary school in person.
“They’re in the early developmental stages of learning. Social, emotional, appropriate play, self-regulating, phonics, your fist letters, and if you miss that or have to go remote with that, it’s not an ideal environment, if you have to you have to. That’s a little bit different than if you’re a junior taking American history,” said Watson.
The Department of Education also updated guidance for masks, recommending all students wear one.
They say new studies show young kids are better at wearing their mask than first thought.