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December 15, 2020 - USD 234 District Update
December 15, 2020 - USD 234 District Update
Ted Hessong
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

January 4th, 2021:

At last night's USD 234 School Board meeting, the school board approved switching January 4th, 2021 to a professional development day for staff.  Students will return on January 5th. 

 KDHE Updated Quarantine Timelines:

Also, at last night's USD 234 School Board meeting, the school board updated the Return-to-School plan to reflect the changes adopted by KDHE and approved by the Bourbon County Health Department.  The update is as followed:

  • Incubation period for COVID remains at 14-days
  • 7-day quarantine (includes testing and no symptoms)
    • After exposure, monitor self for 7 days
    • No symptoms on or after Day 5, person may get a PCR test (antigen or antibody tests are NOT allowed)
    • If test is negative and remain symptom free, can be removed from quarantine on or after Day 7
    • If testing results are pending on Day 7, must wait until results are received
  • 10-day quarantine (no testing and no symptoms)
    • After exposure, monitor self for 10 days
    • If no symptoms during 10 days, can be released from quarantine without a test
  • Not eligible for shortened quarantine
    • Residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities
    • Offender populations in Department of Corrections prisons

USD 234 COVID-19 Attendance Dashboard:

Here is information shared with the school board last night regarding attendance since updating the definition of a close contact for the school district:

  • Average Daily Attendance (number of students in attendance/number of students enrolled):  October = 93.42%, November = 93.24%, December = 92.41% (average for the district prior to COVID-19 was 94%)
  • On November 9, we began tracking the number of students absent due to either isolation, quarantine, or illness to monitor the percentage of students who were not in attendance (does not include remote students unless they are reported as ill): November = 8.32% of students absent, December = 9.43% (during the flu season if a building's absentee rate gets to between 20-25% is when we would consider closing a building due to illness).
  • Since the school board updated the definition of a close contact the school district has not seen a rise in active cases among students and staff.  There also has been no evidence of spread of the virus in any of our buildings.

As a reminder, the threshold for determining if the district needs to consider going to remote learning either district wide or for a building is 25 school related active cases or if we were unable to appropriately staff a building due to a high absence of staff.  So far this year, the most active school related cases we have had at one time was 15.  The week before Thanksgiving Break, we had over 30 staff, across the district, out for COVID-19 related reasons. This is why the HS went to remote learning for a couple of days and we had two professional development days before Thanksgiving Break.  We are constantly monitoring student and staff attendance, and the school board is updated on a regular basis, so they are informed if decisions need to be made regarding the learning environment.

 KSHSAA Attendance Restrictions:

The USD 234 School Board also approved following the attendance restrictions for KSHSAA activities.  Effective from December 10 - January 28, interscholastic activities will allow for attendance of up to two parents/guardians per participant(s) family as allowed by local board of education or health department restrictions.  The activity directors will communicate to families the expectations for attendance.   Masks are required to be worn properly at all times.


Before Thanksgiving Break our COVID-19 numbers were on the rise with the number of students and staff in isolation or quarantine, but since we have returned after Thanksgiving Break, we have seen the number of students and staff in isolation or quarantine decrease.  I was fully anticipating an increase in numbers because of people gathering over the Thanksgiving Holiday, but that was not the case.  I wanted to say "THANK YOU" to our families for doing their part for our being able to continue to provide in-person learning.  Please stay diligent over the Christmas Break to mitigate the spread of the virus.  The vaccine is coming, but we are going to still be dealing with the virus during the second semester.

 Just like over Thanksgiving Break, please communicate with your administrators via email if you will be in isolation or quarantine when we return on January 4th.  I know our administrators will respect the staff's time over Christmas Break, please respect the administrators’ time.