USD 383 board expected to examine teaching mode as COVID cases continue to rise

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The USD 383 school board meets Wednesday night, faced with more tough decisions as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the community.

While not currently on the agenda, it’s highly anticipated the board could consider bringing a motion to transition the district out of hybrid learning to full remote after the Thanksgiving holiday. Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade announced earlier this week that plans are already in place to do so for the shortened school week next Monday and Tuesday, in an effort to deep clean all school buildings.

If approved, it’s uncertain how long a full-remote schedule could potentially be in place. It also would essentially halt all in-person activities, including athletics. 

The district has been hit hard this month with a large number of staff and students in quarantine due to COVID exposure. At one Manhattan school last week, all three second grade teachers were in quarantine. Schools are also having to navigate a shrinking pool of substitute teachers, causing additional stress on classrooms, where in some cases a teacher may be asked to cover a class due to no subsitutes being available.

The district’s online dashboard as of Nov. 1, showed nine district students have tested positive and six staffers, with more than 100 in quarantine. The dashboard hasn’t been updated this month.

The board is also expected to consider the purchases of an early learning bus and personal protective equipment. It will also receive results of a financial audit, in addition to some construction updates on bond projects.

The meeting begins with a 5:30 p.m. work session followed by the business meeting at 6:30 p.m. It can be viewed via the USD 383 YouTube channel or on the district’s Facebook page.

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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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