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United Teachers of Wichita asks Wichita BOE to start schools remotely if numbers don’t improve

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 6:18 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Some Wichita Public Schools teachers are pushing for a remote start based off of recommendations from the Kansas Department of Health (KDHE).

Students in the district have the choice to go in person or online -- but the United Teachers of Wichita is asking the Wichita Board of Education to consider changing those plans and starting school remotely.

“We just want to provide the safest environment and we just really want to get this virus under control so that way we can go back to in-person school,” West High teacher Gabriel Costilla said. “We don’t feel it’s okay to do that right now.”

Data from KDHE suggests that Sedgwick County should not fully reopen schools. The suggestion is based off of the percentage of positive tests over two weeks in the county.

“Looking at the numbers, you can look at the numbers right now on the dashboard and see we are not underneath or equal to 10% which is where we would need to be to start opening schools,” Costilla said. “Once we get there we can have that conversation, but until we do, we will continue to advocate we do full remote learning.”

Costilla said he wants to see the district move the first nine weeks to remote only. The board will make their final decision on Aug. 20.

“I think on the 20th it will be hard to make that determination, we will have another 18 days [before the start of the school year],” Costilla said. “If we as a community come together to get cases down, we can start school.”

Based on the newly released Gating Criteria on school re-openings from KDHE, we will be releasing, every two days, a...

Posted by United Teachers of Wichita on Monday, August 10, 2020

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