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COVID Update - July 6, 2020

6 July 2020


Greenback Family,


I have two updates for you regarding our protocols in response to the pandemic.

First, from our survey of families we know we have a significant percentage (13%) who are approaching the upcoming school year with significant concerns about health and safety.  Of course, others may have less anxiety but still have some concern while we are in this pandemic.  On July 14th at 7:00 pm, we will hold a forum at the Liberty Middle School auditorium to give an overview of our approach and protocols for the start of the school year.  In this forum we will also discuss the possible learning programs for students K-12.  This forum is especially for those parents who are most concerned.  For those simply interested in getting kids back to school, we will offer a traditional school option starting in August while continuing to work closely with our county health department to adapt procedures to evolving conditions in our county.  We will live-stream this event since seating will be limited in the auditorium as we maintain social distancing. https://boxcast.tv/view/usd-382-july-14-parent-forum-449648


Second, I want to update you on a procedural change regarding masks.  We recognize there is some heated debate regarding the use of masks, but we are working closely with the Pratt County Health Department to develop and follow protocols which put students in the best position to be healthy and growing.


For summer activities, we will require the wearing of masks in the weight room due to the nature of the activity and the requirement that stable groups of students are in close proximity (spotting the lifter).  If a student or his/her parent has a particular health concern, please visit with the coach.  We want to protect all of our students—remember, our health care and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) experts are recommending the wearing of masks when not able to socially distance for the protection of all people, not just the wearer of the mask.  For this reason, we cannot offer an exemption but we would look to accommodate a workout for a student to protect student health.


More detailed information is available through our athletic department.  We will work to tailor our approach to adapt to the different needs and environments of the various school and athletic activities.  We appreciate the collaboration with our county health department.  I suspect there is frustration in some corners (from just a glancing observation of social media), but I want to acknowledge that the Pratt County Health Department is committed to our community and putting our students in the best position to be physically and mentally healthy.  These will not be easy answers in the coming months, but I am 100% confident that we have a community who will pull together and look out for each other.


Please be safe and continue to enjoy the summer.


If you have any questions feel free to contact us at 620-672-4500.




Tony Helfrich


Pratt Schools USD 382