Lansing superintendent: District not switching to remote learning

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

Lansing school officials monitor three criteria for determining whether to switch from in-person classes to remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And while one of the criteria has been in the “red” for two weeks in a row, Superintendent Dan Wessel is not recommending a change in how the district delivers instruction at this time.

The issue came up Monday during a special meeting of the Lansing Board of Education.

Board member Beth Stevenson noted that one element of what is referred to as the school district’s gating criteria is in the “red.”

She was referring to Leavenworth County’s number of new positive coronavirus cases per 100,000 people during a two-week period.

That number has been more than 200 for the last two weeks. This would place one of what is referred to as one of the school district’s gating criteria into the red category.

Leavenworth County has a population of fewer than 100,000 people. But the Leavenworth County Health Department uses the measurement rate of new cases per 100,000 people.

The school district’s gating criteria also includes a two-week average percentage rate of positive tests in the county as well as the trend in the county’s incidence rate.

Wessel said the school board has not specified how many of the criteria have to be in the “red” before the district makes a change.

The superintendent said he also consults local health officials. Wessel said he had talked to Leavenworth County Health Officer Jamie Miller.

Wessel said Miller believes the number of new cases per 100,000 people will continue to grow.

“We have done additional testing in our community,” Wessel said.

The superintendent said Miller believes this is the reason why the number of new cases per 100,000 has grown.

Stevenson said the district’s policy is unclear and needs to be clarified for parents.

“We need to be more clear,” she said.

Wessel said he would prepare a message for parents regarding the issue.

The superintendent’s message was posted Tuesday afternoon on the school district’s website.

“We look at all three criteria and consult with the Leavenworth County Health Department to determine our mode of school for the next two weeks,” Wessel wrote in the message.

District officials announced Monday that an employee at Lansing Elementary School had tested positive for COVID-19. District officials learned of the confirmed case late Friday.

And district officials announced Tuesday that a student at Lansing High School also had tested positive. District officials learned of the confirmed case Monday evening.

Students and staff members who were in close contact with those who tested positive will be required to be quarantined for 14 days.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR