Note: The Shawnee Mission Post is making much of its local coverage of the coronavirus pandemic accessible to non-subscribers. (If you value having a news source covering the situation in our community, we hope you’ll consider subscribing here.)
We are already starting to get an idea of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on Johnson County schools at the start of another school year.
Olathe Schools is the first public school district in Johnson County to update its online COVID-19 dashboard after the start of in-person learning this year.
After the first week of classes last week, the district reported:
- 76 positive cases among students, with 138 students in quarantine, and
- 31 positive cases among staff, with 48 staffers in quarantine.
The other three major public school districts in northern Johnson County — Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission and USD 232 in De Soto — are expected to begin updating their COVID-19 dashboards later this week.
All four districts have welcomed students back for in-person learning over the past two weeks, all with universal mask requirements in place.
The districts say that school health officials will be monitoring and working with Johnson County health officials to keep the most up-to-date information regarding COVID testing results.
Here’s what we know about each school district’s plan to offer public COVID-19 information and respond to positive tests:
Blue Valley School District:
- Starting Friday, Aug. 27, the district will begin providing weekly updates here.
- The district will publish confirmed positive COVID-19 cases broken down by school, as well as cumulative districtwide numbers.
- Blue Valley says in order to “best protect privacy,” school-level data will combine student and staff case numbers.
- The district also says the dashboard will only include confirmed positive cases and will not include presumed positive cases. Quarantine numbers will include individuals — students and staff — in quarantine as ordered by county health officials.
- When the district is aware of a positive COVID case, the district says it will work in cooperation with the Johnson County health department to gather the necessary information so JCDHE can make public health decisions.
- The district plans to publish a COVID dashboard here. The district says numbers will be updated each Friday.
- In its first update of the year, Olathe says from Thursday, Aug. 12, to Thursday, Aug. 19, there were 76 positive cases among students, with 138 students in quarantine.
- In addition, the district reports 31 positive cases among staff and 48 staffers in quarantine.
- The district says school-by-school data will be posted beginning Aug. 30, after two full weeks of school.
- In terms of protocols for positive cases, the district is following JCDHE guidance.
Shawnee Mission Schools:
- The district’s COVID-19 dashboard can be found here, though no data from the current school year has yet been uploaded.
- The district says individuals — students or staff — will be excluded from school for both confirmed and presumed positive cases.
- The protocol will be for individuals who test positive to stay home from school for at least 10 days. For confirmed positive cases, this would 10 days from the positive test. For presumed positive cases, this would be 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
- If an individual is symptomatic, they must show results of a negative PCR test or a doctor’s note explaining the illness is unrelated to COVID-19 in order to return to school.
USD 232 in De Soto:
- Per district spokesperson Alvie Cater: “The USD 232 COVID-19 dashboard that will track quarantines and isolations will relaunch Wednesday or Thursday [of this week.]”
- Currently, USD 232’s COVID-19 dashboard from last school year can be found here.
- Cater said in the event of a positive test, a student or staff member will be quarantined from school.