USD 465 schools will open at Level 1 — in-person education — when school starts Sept. 9.
The board of education unanimously decided on that choice Monday night after hearing from Superintendent Dr. Nathan Reed that he and City-Cowley County Health Department Director Thomas Langer agree that the situation right now is opportune for Level 1.
Reed said about 23 percent of district students will be doing remote learning only. Level 1 means the previous week there have been 60 or fewer active cases in USD 465 boundaries and absences are not above a baseline.
All health protocols for dealing with the virus will be followed: Temperature checks, face masks, at least six feet of social distancing when possible and no occupancy restrictions.
Reed said unless things change dramatically in the next three weeks, the district is committed to opening at Level 1.
The decision contrasts with the Arkansas City school board, which opted for a hybrid learning model with students in class two days a week combined with remote learning days. The virus is more prevalent in the Ark City area.
Although the board was unanimous in its support of opening the schools at Level 1, some members expressed hesitation at the district’s starting the activity and athletic competition schedule. Still, it passed 6-1.
Newly appointed board member Kinnie Ledford took part in the discussion and vote.