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The USD 430 School Board met on Monday evening, and voted to amend and approve a re-opening plan for the upcoming school year.

One highlight of the plan, which has been a topic of debate in school board meetings across the county, was the decision not to mandate the use of face masks inside the school building. The board strongly recommends the use of masks by students and staff, although they will be required to ride any school transportation.

Contacted for comment, Superintendent Jason Cline said the school board members came to a decision following much discussion about liability, documentation from KASB and KSDE, as well as information from local healthcare providers. Cline also said that the capacity to perform proper cleaning and the ability to social distance inside classrooms factored into the decision. Ultimately, Cline said the board made the decision they felt was best for the district, leaving the use of a mask up to the parents for their individual students.

Earlier in the meeting, the board heard from a representative from First Option Bank, who presented a donation of $2,750 to the district, which the board voted to accept.

Superintendent Cline informed the group that the thermal imaging system is planned for installation on Aug. 17. Cline also discussed starting day for teachers, and the status of some school supplies for the upcoming year.

The board discussed re-opening plans, and approved a comprehensive plan that is posted on the school’s website. One notable section of the plan states that students opting out of the traditional school setting will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities. The group also approved an HHS handbook change, stating that all students will take semester finals, with no exceptions based on attendance. Also approved was the hiring of Gwen Allen as Nurse Aid, Viviana Mejia as HES tutor and Jami Monson as HHS custodian.

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