Lansing schools to switch to remote instruction

John Richmeier

The Lansing public schools will transition from in-person classes to only remote instruction after Thanksgiving. The Leavenworth public schools will continue to have in-person classes.

The Easton public schools also will continue in-person instruction.

Those were the decisions of local school boards Wednesday.

During a special meeting, Lansing Board of Education members voted 6-1 to move to a remote only instruction model. Board President John Dalbey Sr. voted against the motion.

In-person classes will continue for Lansing students through Tuesday, which is the last day of school before their Thanksgiving break.

Students will be in remote instruction beginning Nov. 30.

The decision to make the change comes after Leavenworth County has seen a significant spike in coronavirus cases.

The Lansing school board previously adopted what are referred to as gating criteria, which established thresholds to serve as a guide for changing the mode of education being used by the district. The gating criteria utilizes county COVID-19 data for a two-week average positivity rate, a two-week incidence rate and the number of new cases per 100,000 people during a two-week period.

All three of the criteria are in the “red,” according to the thresholds approved by the school board.

This led Lansing Superintendent Dan Wessel to recommend the change to remote instruction.

The resumption of in-person classes will depend on conditions related to COVID-19 in Leavenworth County. But the earliest that in-person classes can resume is Jan. 5, according to the motion approved by board members.

Lansing board members also took unanimous action Wednesday regarding extra-curricular activities. Practices for winter sports can take place, but no competitions will take place until after the first of the year, according to Wessel.

Leavenworth school board members also had a special meeting Wednesday.

Leavenworth Superintendent Mike Roth made a recommendation for switching from in-person to remote instruction.

But board members voted down a motion to transition to remote instruction. The motion failed 2-5. Board President Doug Darling and board Vice President Dannielle Wells voted for the motion.

When making his recommendation, Roth expressed concern about staffing shortages in the district.

Board members voted unanimously to give Roth the authority to temporarily close a school or schools when staffing levels are insufficient. Board members referred to such closures as COVID-19 days.

That motion passed unanimously.

Easton Superintendent Tim Beying said his district’s school board also met Wednesday and decided to continue in-person classes at this time. He said the board gave him the authority to transition to remote instruction or what is known as a hybrid model if he feels a change is needed.

If the superintendent enacts such a change, the school board will later meet to approve the action.

Keith Mispagel, Fort Leavenworth superintendent, announced Wednesday that the schools in his district will switch to remote instruction Nov. 30.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR