Coronavirus prompts changes for Kansas classrooms

kids in classroom

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas education officials are preparing to reopen the state’s schools in the fall but acknowledged that the Coronavirus pandemic will force widespread changes.

“We want Kansans to know that we will have school in the fall, and that we are prepared to do everything within our power to keep staff, students and families safe,” Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson said in a news release Friday.

Watson assembled a task force in May to develop comprehensive guidance for safely reopening school buildings. One team is working working on guidance about sanitation, social distancing, busing and food served, while another is focused on instruction.

The Kansas State Board of Education will consider the guidelines at its July meeting.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly became the nation’s first governor to order the closure of school buildings on March 17.

Statewide, Kansas has recorded 232 deaths and 10,300 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In the Wichita area, where some of the largest increases have been recorded, Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns is raising concerns that the area may have moved too fast to fully reopen the economy, The Wichita Eagle reports. Minns is urging residents to continue social distancing practices, wearing protective face coverings and working from home when possible.