Basehor-Linwood board approves reopening plan for elementary schools

John Richmeier

Elementary students who return to in-person classes next month in the Basehor-Linwood school district will have a different attendance schedule than older students in the district.

Under a modified on-site learning plan approved Monday by the Basehor-Linwood Board of Education, elementary students will attend classes at the school buildings each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesdays, students will receive instruction through remote learning.

Middle school and high school students will attend in-person classes two days per week and utilize remote instruction during other days of the week.

“It’s not a perfect situation for anybody,” Superintendent David Howard said.

But he said school officials are trying to do what is best for students.

Parents also have the option of only remote instruction for their children or enrolling their children in the Basehor-Linwood Virtual School.

Classes are scheduled to begin Sept. 8 in Basehor-Linwood schools.

The models of the modified on-site learning plan are the ones that will be followed if the positivity rate among COVID-19 tests in Leavenworth County remain between 5 and 10%, according to criteria approved by the school board.

As of Monday, the positivity rate in the county was 7.62%, according to the school district.

If the positivity rate increases to more than 10%, the Basehor-Linwood schools could switch to remote instruction only.

If the positivity rate decreases and remains less than 5%, all students who have signed up for in-person instruction may start attending classes in the buildings five days per week.

“Ultimately that is our goal,” Howard said.

The superintendent said district officials will try to provide at least two weeks notice before implementing changes. He said the only exception to the two-week notification plan would come if there is a significant spike in COVID-19 cases. He said school officials could have to make a change more quickly.

For now, about half of the Basehor-Linwood Middle and High School students will attend in-person classes Mondays and Thursdays and the other half on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Howard has said this model will help maintain necessary social distancing.

Unlike middle school and high school students, elementary students spend most of their class day with the same teacher.

“So the exposure, we believe, is a little bit different,” Howard said.

He said still having one day of remote learning for elementary students allows time for teacher collaboration. It also provides preparation in case the schools have to switch to remote only instruction.

Howard said school personnel will be cleaning the school buildings each day.

But having one day of the week when students are not in the buildings may provide the opportunity to clean them a little better, he said.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR