USD 457 Board approves COVID-19 plan updates

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Flags blow in the wind outside the USD 457 Educational Support Center, 1205 N. Fleming St.

The USD 457 Board of Education approved changes to the district's COVID-19 operational plan at the Board's regular meeting Thursday.

The changes were passed with a 6-1 vote, with board member Jennifer Standley dissenting.

The biggest changes to the plan are to remove Level 3.5, require face coverings for Pre-K through 12 in Phase 3, and the creation of Level 2.5.

At Level 2.5, masks are required for Pre-K through 12 and at Level 2 the change was made so that masks are recommended for Pre-K through 12 or at teacher discretion, before the change masks were recommended for grades 5-12 or for Pre-K through 12 at teacher discretion.

Social distancing is also recommended at Level 2 and 2.5 and large classes are now to social distance is possible, before the change large group classes were to be held outside or be social distanced.

Another change at Level 2 and 2.5 is to the lunch schedules, student are now to eat in the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch with social distancing as much as possible, whereas prior to the change some students would eat in the classrooms and some in the cafeteria.

At Level 2 and Level 3 for special education, hand washing/sanitizing when students arrived at school, after using the restroom, before lunch, before and after recess and at the end school and anytime hands are soiled has been added to all levels.

Just at Level 2, self-contained sneeze guards are required for face-to-face learning, and clean hands-on materials for each child and at OT and APE there are now no community outings.

Additionally, at all levels for Homebound special education students language was removed requiring two school district staff members.

Changes were also made to the COVID plan for activities – at all levels masks are recommended at outside events where social distancing is not possible and masks are required at all indoor events.

At Levels 3, capacity is now limited to to 50% and at Level 4 capacity is limited at 35%.

At Levels 5 and 6, mask are required at all activities, both indoor and outdoor.