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State law limits remote learning as hundreds of students quarantined in Kansas

Gardner Edgerton School District offices
Posted at 6:01 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 19:33:57-04

GARDNER, Kan.  — A new law in Kansas limits the time school districts can provide remote learning to a student to 40 hours. There are exceptions for illness, injury, or extraordinary circumstance.

Despite the limitation, a spokesperson with Gardner Edgerton USD 231 said educational needs will be met for students forced to quarantine due to possible COVID-19 exposure.

Gardner Edgerton's virus dashboard shows six new positive COVID-19 cases and 231 quarantines for middle school on Aug. 27 through Aug. 29. On Aug. 30 through Aug. 31, six new positives cases and five new quarantines were reported.

USD 231 spokesperson Ben Boothe said in an email the district is mindful of the legislation and "teachers are working closely with affected families to ensure students' curricular needs, and any potential gaps, are addressed."

When students return, Boothe said the district is taking several safety measures including:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices;
  • HVAC adjustments to include increased outside air exchange and enhanced filtering;
  • Frequent hand-washing;
  • Self-monitoring for illness and staying home or keeping children home when sick.

Gardner Edgerton initially made masks optional, but later changed their policy to require masks for grades K-6. Now, all students, staff, and visitors have to wear masks regardless of grade or vaccination status.

Citing student confidentiality, the district spokesperson would not comment on whether quarantined students had close contact with infected students or what event or class would expose hundreds of students in one place.