WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - With a vote of five to two, middle and high school students will remain in remote learning.

During a special meeting on Monday, the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education voted to not bring students back using a blended model.


The blended model would've allowed for students enrolled for on-site learning to attend in-person classes twice a week and learn remotely the other three days.

The board presented three different options during Monday's meeting:

  • Middle and high school students transition into the new blended model
  • Middle school students transition into the new blended model, high school students remain remote
  • Middle and high school students remain in remote learning

Elementary students would remain unchanged in each option.

Board members listened to data presented by health officials with the Kansas COVID Workgroup for Kids.

The health officials with the COVID workgroup said school based transmission is relatively low compared to other community based spreading. Officials urged district leaders, staff and parents to advocate for more community responsibility to help control the spread of the virus.

The workgroup also warned that contact sports played indoors are at high risk for COVID-19 transmission, especially as community cases rise.

USD 259 Director of Health Services Kimber Kasitz told board members the number of cases in the district have double since last week. Kasitz said more than 68 people in the district have tested positive since Nov. 5.

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On Oct. 30, the board voted to continue with the plan to bring secondary students back to the classroom in the new blended model.

On Sunday, the Sedgwick County Health Department reported a positive test rate of 21.6%. According to gating criteria adopted by the school district, PreK-12 students would switch to remote only if the county's positive test rate was at or exceeds 15%.

During that same meeting the board pushed the return date for students from Nov. 9 to Nov. 12. to allow the board to further discuss the data with medical professionals from the Kansas COVID Workgroup for Kids.