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USD 495 COVID-19 Update
USD 495 COVID-19 Update
Bryce Wachs
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Kansas State Department of Education issued the following statement on Monday, March 16:

As things continually shift with COVID-19, we are offering the following updates:

  • Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson has convened a Continuous Learning Task Force to consider options as we move forward.
  • This 25-member Task Force will be led by Cindy Couchman, assistant superintendent at Buhler USD 313 & 2009 Kansas Teacher of the Year; Tabatha Rosproy, an early childhood teacher at Winfield USD 465, 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year & 2020 National Teacher of the Year finalist; and Dyane Smokorowski, an innovation and technology leader for Andover USD 385 & 2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year. The Task Force will develop a plan by the end of the day, Wednesday, March 18, that addresses the following:
    • How schools will assist students who don’t have access to online tools finish out the semester, especially those who are set to graduate in May.
    • How schools will move education online so students can progress toward the end of the semester.
    •  How schools will provide for at-risk students and those who have Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
    • How schools will assist in providing meals for students who need them.
    • What role schools can play in assisting with child care for essential local and state personnel who live in their counties.
    • How schools will assist in efforts to keep children from congregating in community spaces and keep them quarantined in their own homes.
  • Once finalized and approved, this plan will be communicated with all Kansas Schools.
  • Food insecurity for students who rely on school meals is a major concern during extended school closures. KSDE has received approval from USDA for alternate meal service flexibility in the case of unanticipated school closures ordered by local/county/state health officials. This flexibility allows schools and community organizations to serve children meals through the USDA Summer Meals Program options at approved sites and to waive the congregate feeding requirement.

Fort Larned School District activated our incident command system yesterday to develop a district comprehensive plan for how to address COVID-19 based on direction from the Pawnee County Health Department, Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Department of Education.

As this remains a fluid and evolving situation, we will keep families updated as more information becomes available from Pawnee County officials and the Kansas State Department of Education.