20-21 Future Ready Return to School Plan
- Future Ready Return to School Plan
- MySchool Remote
- Face Mask Requirements
- Healthy Learning and Work Environment
- Family and Community Collaboration
- Meal Service Plan
- Parent University - Tech Support for Parents
- Child Care Opportunities
- Resources and News Stories
- COVID-19 Response Plan
- Weekly COVID-19 Surveillance Report
- Employee COVID-19 Hotline
- Wichita Public Schools
- Healthy Learning and Work Environment
What Happens if a Student or Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19
WPS has developed a robust COVID-19 response plan to guide district actions in the event of a confirmed case. The response plan also provides guidance in the event that someone is experiencing symptoms, is a close contact or household contact to a confirmed case, or who has traveled to a location that is deemed by KDHE to be a mandatory quarantine location.
It is important to note that any student or staff member who is sick or doesn’t feel well should not report to school or work and they should follow normal absence reporting procedures. Any employee who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is experiencing symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis, or has been advised to quarantine or can’t report for regular duties due to a COVID-19 related reason should contact the Employee COVID-19 Hotline at 833-0074. Guidance in the WPS flow chart document regarding returning to work or school as provided by other parties will prevail if WPS guidelines are more stringent than direction from the other parties.
Communication to Parents if a Student or Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19
Learn more about how families will be informed if an individual tests positive for COVID-19 in one of our schools, based on the recommendations of the Sedgwick County Health Department.
We will not administer or require COVID-19 tests of employees or students. However, we will require a self-screening assessment prior to every individual entering one of our schools or central office facilities. We will require students and staff who are not feeling well to stay at home.
Individuals in Sedgwick County that have questions about COVID-19 testing or who are experiencing symptoms can call the United Way of the Plains hotline (simply dial 211) to schedule no-cost testing at the Sedgwick County Health Department. Any individual tested for COVID-19 must remain in isolation at home until test results are received.
The district will implement enhanced flu season disinfecting protocols on a year-round basis. Normal custodial work duties will include frequent disinfecting of high touch points, as well as cleaning restrooms twice daily. Custodians will also use HEPA vacuums for carpet cleaning. Electrostatic fogging machines, using hospital-grade disinfectant, will be available to support the intensive cleaning protocol.
Building improvements will include the installation of water bottle filling stations at all schools and central offices. Students and staff are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles, as drinking fountain use will be discontinued. Plexiglass dividers will be provided for school front offices and other select applications where social distancing and/or high visitor traffic creates the need for an additional safety barrier. Signage will be used to constantly remind employees, students and visitors alike of the need to remain socially distanced, and practice proper personal hygiene.
Enhancing the air quality and the flow of fresh air through buildings is a key feature of our facility safety plan. Outside air dampers will be modified to allow for a greater minimum setting (approximately 20-25%) during occupied mode to help dilute the indoor air with additional outside air. Bathroom exhaust fans will run 24/7 in order to maintain proper air flow in these enclosed spaces, and HVAC control schedules will be modified so that systems begin one hour earlier and run one hour longer at the end of the day. Focus will also be placed on strategies that will manage the humidity level in buildings. Lastly, MERV13 filters, which are electrostatically charged and more efficient than standard filters, will be installed in nurse office locations to filter out air particles that are smaller than one micron in size.
Face Masks will be Required
The Governor’s Executive Order 20-59 requires that all individuals who enter a WPS building will wear a face mask. Our practice will continue even after expiration of the Executive Order, until such time as the Wichita BOE determines that a change is in order. Should guidelines change, the WPS plan will be updated accordingly. All students who ride on district-provided transportation will wear a face mask while on the bus.
It should be noted that a face shield is not a substitute for a face mask, but one can be worn in addition at a staff member’s discretion. WPS will work with teachers and students who rely on being able to see lips/mouth to communicate and learn, to assure that proper and appropriate face masks will be available for those individuals. WPS will also follow the exceptions noted in EO 20-59 regarding when masks are not required.
Handwashing and Sanitizing
WPS will provide disinfecting/sanitizing products in all classrooms, common spaces and offices. Hand sanitizer will exceed the CDC recommended 60% alcohol content. This will occur in addition to enhanced cleaning protocols that will be followed by WPS custodial staff. WPS students will also be engaged in learning opportunities at the beginning of the year focusing on proper handwashing, as well as coughing and sneezing techniques, and will be expected to wash or sanitize hands frequently during the school day.
Managing COVID in the Workplace
Based on best-practice recommendations from numerous local, state and national resources, WPS has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 response plan that articulates actions that individual schools and employees should take, defines supervisor responsibility to report, and outlines how facility cleaning protocols will be handled. School nurses, in coordination with the district’s director of health services, will work closely with Sedgwick County Health Department to ensure that isolation and quarantine procedures can be initiated and followed, and that appropriate public health information is shared with parents, students and staff.
Should public health conditions warrant evaluation of a pivot to full-remote status for schools, the Wichita Board of Education will use their BOE-approved Learning Model Decision-Making Guide to frame the evaluation process. Consideration would be given to whether the district remains in the three-model operating mode (onsite, MySchool Remote and EI Academy), or whether the district must shift and offer all instruction through either a remote (MySchool Remote) or virtual (EI Academy) learning model.
If full remote were to occur, all students in MySchool Remote and EI Academy would see no change. Students who attend school onsite would be directly impacted, as their learning would shift to the at-home MySchool Remote format. A pivot to full remote would directly impact families who work outside of the home, as all students would be expected to continue to engage in remote learning.
WPS is currently planning for all three learning models to be utilized when school begins on September 8.
Should a classroom, single school, or full district face temporary suspension of in-person attendance because of a COVID-19 outbreak, district officials would work with local health officials on the duration and scope of scheduling changes. Because plans may change during the year due to public health data, families should be prepared with a childcare plan should illness cause a classroom or school to temporarily suspend in-person attendance.
Our schools will employ all available strategies to carry out the Governor’s Order 20-59, including practices to space students out during lunch, passing periods, and restroom and handwashing breaks. Social distancing is not mandated for in-person instruction when masks are worn.
In addition, students who ride the bus will follow loading/unloading and assigned seat protocols that will provide the safest-possible environment.
All students and staff members are expected to check their temperature EVERY morning prior to coming to school. If any individual registers a temperature that exceeds 100.4F, that individual should NOT come to school or work.
Additionally, if a student or staff member exhibits symptoms of illness during the day, a temperature check will be performed and if the temperature reaches or exceeds 100.4F, that individual will be immediately sent home.
All guests (non-employees) to district facilities will have their temperature checked prior to entering. This includes visitors to schools, central offices and athletic/extra-curricular activities.