Board may consider switching to remote instruction

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

If COVID-19 statistics for Leavenworth County do not improve next week, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education may have a special meeting to discuss possibly changing from in-person instruction to remote learning.

Superintendent Mike Roth raised the issue with board members when they met earlier this week.

He said two of the three COVID-19 criteria the school district looks at to make a decision regarding in-person instruction are in the “red” category.

He said this was based on numbers released Monday by the Leavenworth County Health Department.

“We have been watching that,” Roth said.

He said the county is coming off what had been decent numbers.

“The numbers are going up,” he said.

He said this is a statewide and national trend.

According to a process previously approved by the board, a change to in-person instruction would not be made until two of the three criteria are in the “red” for two consecutive weeks.

“This is our first week,” Roth said.

He said the Leavenworth County Health Department will release updated data for the criteria Nov. 16. If two of the three criteria are still in the red, the board likely will have a special meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday to discuss what to do.

If board members vote to switch from in-person instruction to only remote instruction, the change would go into effect Nov. 23. Roth said this would give parents time to prepare.

He said the remote instruction would continue until two of the three criteria are in the “yellow” or “green” category for two consecutive weeks.

Board member Mike Powell asked if the district could move to a hybrid model, which would be a mix of in-person instruction and remote learning, instead of only remote instruction.

“That would be definitely a board decision,” Roth said.

Under the process previously adopted by the board, remote instruction would be the only option after two of the three criteria are in the “red” for two consecutive weeks, Roth said.

But the superintendent noted that at the time the process was approved, the district was operating under a hybrid schedule. Board members have since scaled this back to allow students to have a full in-person schedule.

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