Garden City USD 457 approves COVID-19 plan

Meghan Flynn
USD 457 Board of Education members Lara Bors, left, and Janene Radke listen as Russ Tidwell addresses the board during the public comment section of a school board meeting Thursday in Garden City High School's auditorium. Tidwell, a GCHS instructor, was among 50 local residents to attend the meeting.

The Garden City USD 457 Board of Education approved the 2020-21 School Plan for COVID-19 at the board’s regular meeting Thursday.

The board previously met on Monday to hear a presentation of the final draft of the plan.

Minor modifications were made to the plan before it was approved Thursday.

One modification is that Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order mandating the implementation of such COVID-19 mitigation procedures as face masks, hand sanitizing and temperature checks at schools would sit above the school district’s plan until it expires.

Roy Cessna, USD 457 public information coordinator, said the district would be “following the social distancing guidelines, hand sanitizing every hour, hand washing every hour and facemasks for all students and staff. In the guidelines there are some exceptions, but overall we will be following those guidelines.”

The other modification was the removal of the athletic portion of the plan until the Kansas State High Schools Athletics Association comes out with its guidelines.

Once KSHAA releases its guidelines, they will be plugged into the plan.

In other business:

• A revised 2020-21 school calendar was approved. The school year will now begin on Aug. 31, with a morning session for elementary, fifth, seventh, ninth and 10th grades and students new to the district. Sept. 1 will be the first day for all other students.

• The board was presented with the proposed 2020-21 budget, which holds the mill levy flat at 48.8 for the fifth straight year.