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USD 501 continuing to stay remote following Shawnee Co. COVID scorecard in orange



TOPEKA, Kan. – The USD 501 Board of Education said they will continue to teach and learn remotely for at least another two weeks and student athletes must still wear masks at all times.

The Topeka Public Schools board met virtually Thursday night — hours after the county announced it’s lowest community transmission score in weeks. The scorecard shows Shawnee Co. at 16 which is out of the “uncontrolled” and is now in the “high” zone.

Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson said of the USD 501 scorecard, “The score card when you see it on Friday, we are also below the red and we may very well be green actually in Topeka Public Schools and if we’re not green this time we may very well be there for the very next week just based on the numbers.”

Dr. Anderson wanted a consensus whether or not to open up classrooms and hallways if they stay in the orange for another week. the group agreed then moved onto athletics.

“Again, next week waiting and seeing if we’re orange so that we know that it’s stable,” she said. “Then that would mean the 15th, the first day after valentine’s day we potentially could reopen for in-person,” she said.

They decided masks will remain on for district athletes and their competitors — when in a TPS gym.

USD 501 Athletic Programs Supervisor Colin Cathey said, “Our teams will be wearing masks at all times, when teams visit us, they are on our court they will wear a mask and we are leaving it to the local control when we are the visiting team to the host school.”

When asked if it is the same when at an away game, Cathey said, “Every game that I’ve been to, the teams that have elected not to wear a mask, even the teams in which originally said they would wear a mask have not.”

Dr. Anderson says they are continuing to ask for vaccines for teachers. They’re hoping teachers can get a dose now while in remote learning rather than waiting until they’re back with students in-person.