October 1, 2023


It's Your Education

Johnson County public colleges will nevertheless require masks following county’s get lifted

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Even though Johnson County has lifted its countywide mask mandate, faculty districts in the northern element of the county will nevertheless continue to involve masks wherever bodily distancing simply cannot arise.

Given that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic hit the Kansas Metropolis metro spot more than a calendar year in the past, Johnson County officials have necessary masks to be worn in community areas for a wide greater part of the group. The latest mask buy ended at midnight, May well 1.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Avoidance, the Kansas Division of Well being and Atmosphere and the Johnson County Section of Health and Atmosphere continue on to strongly suggest putting on masks indoors, particularly when bodily distancing are unable to arise.

The freshly recognized Senate Invoice 40 signed into law by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly earlier this 12 months also offers sole authority for COVID-19 limits to local bodies, together with faculty districts.

This usually means, university districts can lawfully continue on to demand masks be worn, but they can also encounter pushback from patrons who oppose mask mandates.

Because the legislation went into impact quite a few weeks in the past, Blue Valley, Olathe and USD 232 in De Soto have all held several public hearings dependent on grievances about their masking requirements.

Following the county’s final decision very last week to allow the latest mask order to expire, the Shawnee Mission Article questioned if college districts in northern Johnson County will go on to need college students and workers to have on masks at college and keep other COVID-19 mitigation protocols.

Here are their responses:

Shawnee Mission University District

Pupils don masks in a widespread location at Rhein Benninghoven Elementary in Shawnee.

Masks will still be needed in faculty properties, even though mask breaks are authorized even though outdoors and in the course of actual physical education classes.

David Smith, main communications officer for the Shawnee Mission College District, stated the district has no ideas to revise its possess COVID-19 mitigation protocols, together with those with regards to masks, just before the conclude of this college 12 months.

“We have a potent doing the job connection with the county, and look at them companions in preserving our educational facilities and our neighborhood safe,” Smith extra.

Elementary students are permitted to take out their masks at recess while social distancing.

The district’s gating requirements for things to do and athletics gives few aspects on whether or not masks are needed.

Having said that, sure activities are deemed a substantial chance when executed without the need of masks and/or in near, sustained get in touch with, these as band and choral performances, together with football and wrestling, which are not currently in time.

Additional facts on Shawnee Mission’s COVID-19 ideas is readily available here.

USD 232 in De Soto

Students study books on the flooring when putting on masks at Starside Elementary in De Soto. Picture courtesy USD 232.

Masks are however expected in university properties until finally the Board of Eduction will take action to adjust the district’s present-day plan.

Alvie Cater, district spokesperson, stated elementary college students may remove their masks while participating in, as prolonged as actual physical distancing can arise. That means masks should be worn when students are grouped alongside one another, like on a jungle health and fitness center, for occasion.

“Distancing is a crucial ingredient,” Cater said. “Our coverage does let for the elimination of masks for a interval of time when distancing can be obtained.”

This suggests that technically, masks could be taken off indoors — but this is just about difficult in the lecture rooms mainly because USD 232 has returned all students who ended up in hybrid or remote studying back to fully onsite studying.

Cater mentioned universities have provided a area for students to have a mask break if necessary.

“Our principals have been earning lodging alongside the way to help students as substantially as attainable,’ he extra.

Olathe Public Educational institutions

Olathe Community Educational facilities will continue on to have to have masks be worn at faculty. Picture via Olathe Community Schools’ Fb web site.

Masks are required to be worn indoors, and Olathe Public Colleges will carry on this requirement by means of the end of the school year.

Maggie Kolb, executive director of communications and neighborhood relations, said Olathe Public Faculties will also carry on to operate with no modifications to the district’s current COVID-19 mitigation programs.

Typically, college students are essential to put on masks at recess, depending on the exercise, Kolb added.

All attendees at sporting activities are necessary to don masks. Pupil-athletes can just take off their masks though competing, but need to put them back again on when in the huddle, on the bench, in the dugout or otherwise not in a level of competition.

Blue Valley Educational institutions

Blue Valley Faculties states it will also proceed to uphold its mask plan.

A spokesperson for the faculty district claimed that in common, no changes to the district’s coverage have happened.

The district will also implement other COVID-19 mitigation measures by way of this school 12 months, these kinds of as social distancing when attainable, hand washing and cleaning, and at-college temperature checks.