In-school learning for Chanute USD 413 was given the green light on Wednesday morning, when administrators met with the Neosho County Health Department and Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center.
The group decided the district was still in the green section of the gating criteria chart, despite reporting orange numbers in the two-week Neosho County positive-case rate (25 positive cases out of 191 tests), yellow in the two-week Neosho County cumulative incidence rate (71.85 per 100,000) and red in the trend incidence rate in the county.
The county has seen growing numbers of positive COVID-19 cases for two consecutive weeks; however, the local/referring hospital capacity for beds available in the Intensive Care Units in the surrounding counties is still well below the numbers needed to push it into the yellow status. At this time, 56 percent of beds in ICU in the Kansas City metro area, as well as the southeast region of the state, are still available.
“We have made the decision to remain with an overall rating of green for the upcoming week,” said Matt Koester, Assistant Superintendent and Interim Chanute High School Principal. “Our discussion started today with student absences. We had an overall attendance rate of 95 percent for the last two weeks. That attendance rate is above our daily average from 2019-20. We also discussed staff attendance. We have five teachers out of 126 teachers that are not coming in due to a situation related to COVID-19.”
The group discussed the remaining topics and decided it was best to stay in the green area of the chart.
“We discuss the impact that a change in overall rating would have on our community as a whole,” Koester said. “If we make the decision that we should move to yellow, orange, or red, it will impact our community because that means kids will be home at least part of the week. We continue to believe that in-person education is the most beneficial to students. Making kids stay home part of the week will create employer problems because employees will need to stay home. We want to make sure that we continue to keep students and our community safe.”
The committee will meet again next Wednesday morning at 9 am to discuss the following week.