Wichita Public Schools see increase in positive COVID tests amongst staff

Published: Oct. 10, 2020 at 9:08 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Positive COVID-19 cases amongst Wichita Public School teachers is on the rise and mostly in elementary schools.

WPS fourth grader teacher Hannah Evans-Mendoza said, “We do have teachers at our school who are quarantining. I would speculate that it’s kind of a common thing now, like if you’re exposed or you test positive, you quarantine.”

Evans-Mendoza is the remote learning teacher for her grade. While her fellow teachers have in-person classes, she’s required to be in the building every school day to teach 34 kids online.

“It' just one of those things we knew was kind of inevitable, unfortunately it is at our expense. Right now I’m pregnant, there are other pregnant people in our building which is concerning but all we can do is the best that we can,” said Evans-Mendoza.

This past week, 23 Wichita Public School employees tested positive for COVID-19, 12 of those new cases being at the elementary level. That makes 49 total positive tests among staff members since the beginning of September.

“Our principle does a fantastic job at keeping the adults accountable. However, some adults aren’t taking it as seriously as I feel like they should be,” said Evans-Mendoza.

As of Oct. 8, 280 Wichita Public School employees are under quarantine and that makes it hard for the remaining teachers to pick up the slack.

“We’re not getting subs and the subs that are willing to come in are either older or retired teachers,” said Evans-Mendoza. “So a lot of the times when we don’t get subs, we have to pull other resources like paras in the building to cover it.”

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