Wichita Public Schools COVID Policy

Grace Gibson, Reporter

With school having started, and students going back in the building, some normalcy has returned to our lives. However, with COVID cases increasing, the school’s policies for handling the pandemic are becoming even more crucial to the safety of students, teachers, and their families.

Wichita public school’s standard policy covers their plans and resources for students and teachers to use regarding the COVID 19 pandemic. Within these plans, recent changes have been installed that adjusted the prior mask policy from ‘strongly suggested’ to mandated for anyone within any WPS building.

Along with the mask policy, students and staff are told to stay home if they are sick or have been in close contact with a positive case and are considered high risk for the pandemic. Vaccines are strongly encouraged; however, they are not required. Free testing is available by appointment and vaccine clinics will be available at district locations.

Measures, such as an employee hotline and a continued emphasis on cleanliness have been put in place to ensure the safety of all those involved with Wichita Public Schools. Technology has also been applied to classrooms for easier availability for students, and Microsoft Teams is being accessed again to assist quarantined students.

“It’s as good you can get it, given the situation we’re in,” Frank Heiman, a geometry teacher at North said when asked his opinion on the school’s COVID policies. Heiman thinks that the district is doing the best they can and expressed positive reinforcement of the mask policy and contact tracing.

Kala Russel, a student at North, expressed her concern at the number of students during lunch and in some classrooms. “We’re never equally spaced out. For example, if someone got COVID right next to you, you’re most likely going to get it. It’s not even your fault, but you have to sit next to them.” She suggested a split lunch, like last year, in which two grades would be eating and two would be in their Advocacy until a certain time, and then they would swap. She also expressed her concerns regarding some people didn’t like the masks and would rebel against the policy, making our school less safe to her than she prefers.

Learn more at https://www.usd259.org/WPSadvance