Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Following the winter break, all students in Unified School District 207 will participate in remote learning from Jan. 4-8, 2021, in an attempt to combat any potential COVID-19 cases that may develop from any potential holiday travel and gatherings.


This course of action, as recommended by Keith Mispagel, superintendent of schools, was approved by the USD 207 school board during the monthly meeting Oct. 26 at the district office.


The advantages of the plan include the ability to provide an automatic pseudo-quarantine of at least seven days with the opportunity to return to on-site learning; students still actively engaging in learning remotely during the week, which means no loss of instruction time; to provide an opportunity to assess the remote learning platform and delivery for all students and staff in the event of a positive case quarantining an entire class or more or there’s another statewide shutdown; staffing numbers will remain the same and teachers will deliver remote learning content from the classroom; and there will be no fiscal change or challenge to the school district.


There are two disadvantages noted for this course of action. First is the requirement to have parent supervision during the remote learning week. Mispagel said this is why the decision is being made now to give families time to plan for the remote learning week.


Second is the need for additional training for current on-site staff on how to deliver remote instruction. Mispagel said the district will use early-release Fridays for additional instruction with the help of subject matter experts.


The board also approved a distance learning playbook for parents and staff and faculty professional development purposes. More information will follow.


New Patton update
As of Oct. 26, almost all underground utility work is complete, and the main entrance of the school has been framed in steel.


By the first week of November, time-lapse cameras, which will take photos every 30 minutes, will be set up and document the progress of the construction over the next year and half.


Board members and other essential personnel practiced social distancing and wore face coverings during the board meeting.


All board meetings are open to the public. For an overview of the meeting and the minutes, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.


The next USD 207 board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 23 at the district office.

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