By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Buhler USD 313 has modified its gating criteria in preparation for the potential that the county will end up in the red zone in the coming weeks.
"What does that look like, can you completely cohort a class?" asked Superintendent Cindy Couchman and her admin team. "Can you reduce it and get six feet distance? We feel like in grades 6 through 12, we've been successful with the six foot distancing and keeping them in class and we can only achieve that right now by doing the hybrid mode. Otherwise, we just have too many bodies in the building. Pre-K to 5, we feel like we can really concentrate on this cohort."
That means that elementary school students will likely do most everything with just their single class, not even with their whole grade.
"Make sure that they get their recess alone and then wait a few minutes and send the next class out, that way, those cohort groups aren't mixing," said Kyle McClure, Director of Innovation. "Lunch might be held in the classroom. Go grab your lunch and bring it back to the classroom. Maybe the specials teachers will come to the classes, so that they aren't sharing that air space in the gym or in the music class."
They are still working on the specifics of that, but they are also asking parents to consider where possible, transporting their own kids to school if we get into the red.
"If you are able to transport your child at this time, to try to go ahead and do that on your own," said Shane Hecox, Director of Finance. "That would allow our numbers on our buses to go down, to hopefully ensure that we can stay in school."
Much of the adjustment is designed to allow for less need to quarantine if a positive case is found and to limit the spread overall.