COVID-19 Fan Guidelines
Our home event guidelines for the fall season can be viewed by clicking here. Please note that fan attendance will be very limited, and a voucher will be required to purchase tickets. While we realize this is not ideal, we feel this decision gives our student athletes the best opportunity to compete throughout the fall season. We will evaluate and update the policies as needed throughout the season. Coaches will communicate any restrictions for road games with their athletes.
As a reminder, events in Hutter Gym and Hillier Stadium will be streamed via the NFHS Network. Instructions for signing up can be found here.
August 14 – Hybrid Announcement
USD 402 continues to be in regular contact with the Butler County Health Department on all things related to COVID-19 and a safe return to school this Fall. As you are aware, our community has experienced an increase in confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. As a result, the recommendation from the Butler County Health Department is that USD 402 start the year in a hybrid learning model for the first two weeks of school.
The district has, and will continue to follow the recommendations of our health officials as we navigate this pandemic. As a result, USD 402 will be enacting the hybrid model that our Safe Return Taskforce and administrative staff has developed. The USD 402 hybrid model reduces the number of students in face-to-face learning at the middle school and high school while elementary buildings will continue to operate 5 days per week.
This plan is aligned with both the KSDE model, as well as, the Butler County Health model for “gating” (see chart attached below). The guidance documents recommend that PreK-5th grade continue to attend school five days per week due to their innate ability to establish cohort groups. By cohorting, schools significantly reduce the possibility of cross contamination into other student groups. With regard to elementary students, research shows that younger students are far less likely to transmit the virus. Contact tracing is also much more manageable at the elementary level.
Both the high school and middle school will continue to be in contact with families on this change. Although plans are subject to change, the plan for our HS/MS hybrid model is to have students with last names beginning with A-K attend school in person Mondays and Thursdays and students with last names L-Z on Tuesdays and Fridays. The district will also connect siblings with different last names so that they attend on the same in-person days. When students are not face-to-face they will learn remotely, on Wednesdays the plan is for teachers to live stream lessons to students.
Regarding athletics/activities, KSHSAA is allowing practices and activities to begin on Aug. 17th. Being on a hybrid model does not prohibit such activities to take place, however, they will likely need to be modified in ways to reduce contact and to allow for social distancing and other safety measures to exist.
Distance learning remains an option. Applications for distance learning are due Sunday, Aug. 16th. Distance learning requires a 9 week commitment. To access the distance learning application click here.
As a district, we recognize the hardship that an announcement such as this places on families. Please understand that we are doing everything in our power to manage this situation in a manner that limits the negative impact on our students, staff, and families. More information will be coming to your from both the middle school and high school. Both schools are working hard to adjust and to build plans that will have positive impacts on students and families.
As of now, this announcement pertains to August 27th- September 11th. The district will continue to remain in contact with the county health department and KSDE and will continue providing up-to-date and transparent information.
August 12 – Distance Learning Application Deadline
For those interested in distance learning, all applications are due by Sunday, August 16th. Although distance learning is not the recommended approach to learning, we understand that there are a number of factors that Augusta families are dealing with at this time in which distance learning may be the preferred approach to begin school. To be clear, students will have to be very self-motivated to be successful in the distance learning model.
As you are aware, USD 402 is not an online school, and shifting to provide distance learning while at the same time providing on-site learning is a challenge. We are doing so in an effort to support our students and community during an unprecedented time of great need. The district is also working to stay in compliance with requirements from the Kansas Department of Education as we plan for a new approach to school this year.
The number of slots are essentially determined by the number of requests. The district efforts are to make this option work for as many people as possible with our existing staff. Providing this option requires creativity from the scheduling perspective as we do not want to over-extend our teachers.
Essentially, this is a numbers game. As an example, a large number of requests could free up teachers who would otherwise be teaching in person. Therefore the number of students that can be accepted is based on the number of requests.
Schools will continue scheduling students for distance learning next week and will be in contact with parents. Requests will be taken in the order they were received and not all those that apply are guaranteed. Please contact your child's building with questions.
We are living in an imperfect world, and this timeline presents challenges for both the school and the parents. We certainly recognize this hardship. We are working hard to get you information as soon as possible. Our goal is for a safe return for our students and staff while maintaining high standards for educating our students at a time that we are navigating a number of challenges.
We appreciate your understanding as we work to provide options for our students and families.
July 15 – Governor Kelly’s Announcement
As you may be aware, Governor Kelly announced today (July 15th) at 3:00 pm that schools will not be permitted to open until after Labor Day. Governor Kelly has also mandated masks in schools.
This change will impact USD 402 in a variety of ways as we prepare for the 2020-21 school year and we appreciate your patience as we work through the ripples of this announcement. This announcement will likely bring to mind a number of questions and "what if" scenarios. We will do our best to keep you informed going forward.
Our tentative return to school timeline, sent out earlier today, will be effected by this announcement and we will make adjustments.
If you did not see the Governor's announcement live, it can be accessed here.
July 15, 2020
The USD 402 Safe Return Task Force is working on plans for Augusta's return to school. It is important that the district share information, when available, on the process to better prepare and inform our community.
Below you will find a tentative timeline. This is the timeline that the task force and oversight groups will be operating under. With that said, it is important to understand that due to an ever changing environment, this timeline may be subject to change.
The district will continue to communicate as more information becomes available. Thank you for your support as we navigate through this challenging, ever-changing, environment.
We have received a number of positive, supportive, and encouraging messages from staff and parents. Your support means a lot to us.
This time line has been updated.