Wichita (USD 259)

Wichita elementary students whose families opted for in-person learning returned to classrooms on Jan.13. The Wichita Board of Education voted on Jan. 11 to fast-track the transition back to classrooms for K-5 students while starting middle and high school students in a hybrid learning model on Jan. 25.

But with Sedgwick County’s COVID-19 case numbers on the decline, Wichita Public Schools’ 6th and 12th graders are set to return to in-person learning four days a week starting March 1. The district will also send 9th graders back to classrooms on March 8.

“Social distancing will occur to the greatest extent possible, and we will continue to expect students to wear masks, wash hands, and stay home if they are sick,” Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools Gil Alvarez wrote in an email to teachers.

Students at all levels whose families opted for remote learning are not affected by the move back to classrooms.

Prior to winter break, all WPS students had been learning virtually since Dec. 2, when 13,000 elementary students were transitioned online. Middle and high school students learned remotely for the entire first semester.

In the hybrid learning model for secondary students, middle and high school students have spent two days a week in the classroom. Even in the in-person learning model, Wednesdays will remain remote days.

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