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Derby school district returning to in-person learning out of holiday break

Derby High School in Derby, Kansas
Derby High School in Derby, Kansas(KWCH)
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 3:17 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Derby school district on Wednesday (Dec. 30) announced that all of its students (early childhood-12th grade) will return in-person when school starts back up on Jan. 4 and will continue at least through Jan. 15. The school district emphasized that all year, families have had the option to choose either remote or in-person learning models at the start of each nine weeks, and “the remote option remains for all families who have selected this as their preferred model.”

“The next opportunity to request a nine-week learning model change will be later in January,” the district said in Wednesday’s news release announcing its plan to start in-person in 2021.

The district’s Gating Criteria Committee met Wednesday afternoon and made the decision to start in-person when students return from the break.

“Derby Public Schools is yellow on the gating criteria chart,” the district said.

That chart is based on COVID-19 community transmission. Considerations in the “yellow category” that allow for districtwide, in-person learning includes 10 percent or fewer positive tests within the previous 14 days and steady or decreasing new cases. You can see the chart and the thresholds for different categories as they pertain to decisions about learning models below:

While the initial plan calls for a return to in-person learning for at least the first two weeks of school out of the break, the Derby school district said it’s important to note that a school can still move to remote on a case by case basis.

“Staffing and student absenteeism may impact the gating criteria and modes of learning at a particular school,” the district said.

The Gating Committee will hold meetings every couple of weeks throughout the final four months of the school year, starting on Jan. 13. Spring Break for the Derby school district is set for March 15-19.

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