PAOLA – Paola USD 368 school board members have called a special board meeting to be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21, at the district central services building to discuss the growing number of COVID-19.
The special reunion will take place just over a week after Paola’s school board members decided at their September 13 meeting to stay in phase 1 of the district’s safe back-to-school plan and to keep masks optional.
At that time, there were a total of 27 active cases in the district (23 involving students and four involving staff members). That district-wide total rose to 39 active cases (37 students and two staff) in the last updated report on Friday, September 17.
The only items on the agenda for Tuesday’s special meeting are the open forum, COVID discussion, and phase determination.
The masks would only be required as part of phase 3 of the plan. District officials have previously said that a significant increase in the number of cases could prompt the district to move to phase 2, which would require students or staff quarantined due to close contact to wear a mask and have a daily COVID-19 test if they want to return to school during their quarantine. Phase 1 allows quarantined students and faculty to attend school if they are asymptomatic and agree to wear a disposable surgical mask.
Superintendent Matt Meek previously said evidence of COVID-19 transmission within the school district could lead to Phase 3, which is a district-wide mask warrant similar to the previous school year.
School board member Randy Rausch was the only one to show interest in Phase 3 and a mask mandate at the school board meeting on September 13.
Meek said at the last board meeting that if the school board decides to move to phase 2 and start requiring daily testing for all quarantined students who wish to return to school, it is not sure. to currently have the staff to be able to handle this workload.