Posted Date: 09/02/2020
Greetings Stanton County! We are most of the way through summer and fall is rapidly approaching. That means school has started and fall athletics and activities have begun. As all of you are aware, this year, education looks different and many challenges have been thrust upon everyone at Stanton County schools. The faculty, staff, administration and school board worked hard to ensure we were ready for school on August 13th and that everyone would be able to return to school in a safe and educational setting. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in Stanton County and that didn’t stop at the doors of our schools. In July, the board of education approved the USD #452 Covid-19 plan. The plan was developed by select members of the school, with guidance provided by the Kansas State Department of Education and their attorneys. Additionally, we consulted local county officials, the health department, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and our county health official. All with the goal to keep our students in school, participating in activities and do so in a safe manner. At this point in time the plan seems to be working. As I walk through the schools, students are engaged, teachers are working hard and learning is taking place. Albeit everything does look a little different due to wearing masks and students being spaced out.
The primary activities in our Covid-19 plan included; wearing masks, maintaining six feet of social distance whenever possible, checking temperatures twice per day, washing hands regularly, using hand sanitizer frequently and disinfecting desks, tables and chairs several times per day. The goal is to minimize the spread of Covid-19 at school. When we started school, none of us believed we would go through the entire year without a single student, faculty or staff member getting Covid-19. However, the goal of our plan was to keep it from spreading throughout the school.
As we progress through the year please keep in mind that while we have a plan in place it is no guarantee that we will be exempt from being quarantined or isolated due to our exposure to Covid-19 or someone who tests positive for Covid-19. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment along with the Centers for Disease Control recommend many strategies to help combat and control Covid-19. However, wearing masks, maintaining six feet of social distance and hand washing or using hand sanitizer regularly are the three that have the greatest impact. Wearing a mask does not eliminate the need for social distancing. Maintaining six feet of social distance doesn’t mean we don’t have to wear masks. The best defense against Covid-19 is to do all three at school, work or in public. Unfortunately at Stanton County schools it is impossible to maintain six feet of social distance 100% of the time. Our buildings simply aren’t large enough to do that. That means even though we wear masks our students, staff and faculty may get quarantined if they happen to be within six feet of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. Even if it wasn’t by their choice.
This is a challenging time we are all going through. Please remember that the teachers, administration, school board members, county commissioners, the ladies at the health department and our county health official, are not experts at controlling a pandemic. We are all doing our best to keep kids in school and participating in activities and most importantly keeping every member of Stanton County safe. We ask that you bear with us. When we have to make difficult decisions it is with every resident of Stanton County in mind!