Hutchinson USD 308 Superintendent Mike Folks said Tuesday that even though Reno County is in the yellow for its school gating criteria, that doesn't change the learning model in USD 308 yet.
"Here in 308, we would go to a hybrid model when we are in the orange category," Folks said. "If we were to transition to the red category at that time and that time only, would we be fully remote and that would shut down our activities. There's some other districts that they might be hybrid when they go to yellow instead of orange. There's a great deal of autonomy within the districts."
Despite the efforts of the Hutchinson Clinic and the Reno County Health Department to spread testing more widely, the threshold has still not been reached to use positive test rate as the metric for the color choice. The districts remain using the 14-day new case count as their metric.
"We get preliminary numbers on Wednesday," Folks said. "Then, we get an update on Friday morning and the Reno County superintendents along with our medical team and Reno County health team, we have a Zoom meeting on Friday morning at 9:00 and we look at those numbers and then we decide where we're at, you know, what category and then we try to get an email out to our staff and to our parents by 11:00 or 11:30 on Friday and that would be active for the following Monday."
The number as of last Friday was 67 new cases in 14 days, down from 78 the week before. The positive test rate was also down to 7.3% as of September 11.
"We've just had a very good start to the school year," Folks said. "Compliance on the new regulations and changes are very apparent. I think our students are very appreciative, as well as our parents, to be in school. There's a great deal of engagement."
It is the district's goal to communicate with parents as soon as they have information and are able to verify it.