4-State school districts keep parents informed concerning COVID-19


Students are back in school throughout the 4-state area, but with a pandemic still raging many parents and guardians want to be in the know if a COVID-19 case pops up at their kid’s campus.

Local school boards are well aware of this and have set up systems to keep the public informed.

“It’s just really to be transparent on how we’re making decisions and where we’re at with it. We don’t want to hide anything about the information,” said Fort Scott Superintendent Ted Hessong.

One way that’s been embraced by a handful of 4-state school districts is creating online COVID-19 case dashboards that list a multitude of information including student absences, confirmed COVID-19 cases, students and staff in quarantine, as well as the dates of when these instances occurred.

The school year in Fort Scott, Kansas is in its infancy, but their superintendent says a Coronavirus dashboard will soon be part of the district’s website.

“We’re in day three, but we’re getting that communication and keeping track of the level of community spread as well, with that information combined with our attendance information,” said Hessong.

The school district in Galena, Kansas is taking a different approach when it comes to informing parents and students about potential COVID-19 cases, and it involves the telephone.

“We use a company called ‘School Messenger’ and we can blast out a phone call to all of our parents,” said Galena Superintendent Trey Moeller.

And while the Galena school district’s COVID-19 case count may not be online, its superintendent wants to make it clear that they’ve got nothing to hide. Any student or parent with questions on the latest developments simply needs to ask the school board or one of the district’s many teachers and staff members.

“Our staff members, our administration is always available for the questions or concerns that parents or patrons may have, and certainly we can be reached through our offices and other electronic measures,” said Moeller.