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USD 343 Moving to Criteria to Guide Masking Requirements

At the October 11th Board of Education meeting, the Board passed a motion to follow a gating criteria document as a way to determine masking requirements for students and staff members.  The gating criteria document will be applied to three separate levels; grades 9th-12th, 7th-8th, and PreK-6th.  The reason for the split level at the middle school is the current availability of the COVID-19 vaccine.  The COVID-19 vaccine is currently not approved for children under the age of 12.  (The 6th-grade class contains primarily 11-year old students.)

The criteria used to determine masking recommendations are:

  • The positive percentage of COVID-19 students at the perspective level.
  • The average percentage of positive cases in USD #343 in Douglas and Jefferson Counties.
  • The percentage of students absent.
  • The vaccination percentage of students.
Each of these criteria is assigned a point value based on a range in the category.  Some of you may recall USD 343 used a similar approach during the last school year when deciding to operate with a typical instruction model, hybrid education, or remote learning.
The administration will review data weekly to determine masking recommendations.  Please understand that USD 343 reserves the right to make masks mandatory/required at any time should a COVID-19 outbreak occur.
Currently, USD 343 does not have a COVID-19 positive student or staff member.  Additionally, we have only five students and staff members who are quarantined.  To date, the majority of our quarantined individuals are due to exposure at non-school events.  Keep in mind, students and staff members assigned to quarantine can attend school and participate in extracurricular activities with a daily negative COVID-19 test.
Documents with the current data are listed below.  The week's data will allow students and staff at the 7th-12th grade level to move to the "highly recommended" masking status.  Students and staff members in the PreK-6 level will remain in the "mask required" status.  Feel free to contact the USD 343 District Office should you have questions. (785) 597-5138 or jelliott@usd343.org
Current Data: (Click the links below to view)

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