• Last modified 1231 days ago (Feb. 10, 2021)


Hillsboro to keep hybrid model until after break

Staff writer

Hillsboro’s school board voted Monday evening to continue the hybrid classes model for its middle and high school students until after spring break.

District superintendent Max Heinrichs changed his recommendation because of ongoing safety concerns.

“We want them in the building,” he said of Hillsboro’s students. “But I just don’t believe we are able to make it guaranteed safe.”

The district has about 150 teachers and 112 have already signed up to receive vaccines.

However, the soonest teachers will be able to get the shots will be the first week of March, he said. The health department could not guarantee a timeline for vaccinations.

“The positive test rate was around 12 ½ percent which is really good from what it has been,” he said, adding that Wichita, Ford, Finney and surrounding counties have better rates.

If the district returns to face-to-face learning, some students will return to school, which creates a logistical problem for maintaining six feet of social distance, he said.

The fact that most activities are still indoors concerned him, he said.

Band and choir have concerts coming up and wrestling and basketball are still fielding teams. A quarantine order will end that, he said.

“Our middle school wrestling team, if they have to quarantine for 14 days, it’s gone,” he said. “It’s just not very long left in the season.”

Colder temperatures bring people indoors where they gather and make it hard to get outside where they can socially distance, he said.

“If you have listened to the weather, it is not supposed to get above freezing until Feb. 23,” he said. “If you remember the cold spell when we last came inside — we only had three cases, but we sent home 82 kids, and then six teachers.”

Delaying face-to-face learning will give teachers and administrators more planning time, and the warmer weather will give students the opportunity for outdoor activities.

“Our goal would be to get them back outside,” he said.

Last modified Feb. 10, 2021