State Board of Education suspends school attendance rules if closed

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) — The Kansas State Board of Education announced they are giving executive privileges to the State Education Commissioners to grant schools special exceptions if impacted by the coronavirus.

“This is only if a school is required to close by the public health departments or KDHE,” said Susan McMahan, Director of the Safe and Secure Schools Unit with the Department of Education.

The Board approved a resolution to prevent penalizing schools if they shorten school days or suspend or cancel classes. It also allows exemptions to how they deliver educational courses, and graduation requirements.

“And it is by case by case basis that the commissioner, Dr. Randy Watson, can work with that school district. It gives him the authority to determine, instead of reconvening the State Board every single time a school needs something,” said McMahan.

Many schools are taking extra precautions ahead of students returning.

Geary County Schools said they have acquired some electro-static decontamination devices which deliver an electrically charged vapor containing Virex Plus cleaning agent. They also have been using ‘chemical free’ floor cleaning machines in their schools.

Holton Schools said their custodial staff is using approved disinfectants within each building, and have left extra towels and disinfectant with each teacher to utilize during the day if needed.

Seaman schools are deep cleaning buildings and busses over spring break which includes disinfecting and sterilizing all surface areas.

Topeka Public Schools say they have been in meetings working on how to address the coronavirus. They will be releasing more detailed plans on Friday.

And if a school is impacted by the coronavirus, the board has given guidelines to districts on how long to close a school.

“At the minimum it will be 14 days. And then you’ll be reassessed depending on communal spread,” McMahan detailed.

The board also suggests that if you have a student that traveled outside the United States, or was possibly in contact with someone who had the virus, contact your local health department for guidance on what you should do before returning to school.