SMSD News: Mitigation Plan Update

On Monday, February 14, 2022, the Shawnee Mission Board of Education approved updates to the Shawnee Mission School District’s (SMSD’s) second semester COVID-19 mitigation measures. These updated measures went into effect on Wednesday, February 16, 2022. 

You can read the updated measures here.

The most significant changes relate to the wearing of masks. Masks are currently optional for all students in the Shawnee Mission School District.

Update related to middle and high schools:  

Masks inside middle school and high school buildings are now optional for students and staff, as long as the building remains below the district threshold for masking (see District Threshold for Masking outlined below). 

Updates related to elementary schools:

The approved plan states that masks are required for all elementary students and staff while the county mandate for masking of all elementary students is in effect. It noted that, should the County remove the mandate, elementary schools would revert to the district threshold for masking (see below) set for all other SMSD facilities.

On Thursday, February 17, 2022, the County Board of Commissioners, sitting as the County Board of Health, rescinded the mask mandate for elementary school-age students. Beginning on Friday, February 18, 2022, masks are now optional for all students in the Shawnee Mission School District, and all schools will follow the district threshold for masking (see below).

Due to a federal mandate, students must continue to wear masks while on school buses.

The Board’s approved plans related to masking for elementary and secondary students are contingent upon the District Threshold for Masking outlined here:  

District threshold for masking

If a school building reaches > 3% positive COVID cases or the overall absentee rate related to illness is > 5%, the building will return to full mask requirements. The building will remain masked for at least 14 days and until the percentage of positive cases is < 3% and overall absentee rate related to illness is < 5%.

If school building rates of positive cases or illness rates are unknown due to one of the extended district breaks (such as Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring or Summer breaks) AND the percent positive rate is 8% or higher according to the JCDHE dashboard, all buildings will return to school with full mask requirements until data can be collected to determine the actual building rate. This time period will be no longer than one week unless > 3%.

As of Thursday, February 17, 2022, all schools were below the district threshold.

Information regarding building percentages will be posted weekly on the district data dashboard.

The shared, primary goal in the SMSD remains to keep schools open so that children can learn and benefit from interactions with their teachers and their peers. During the February 14 meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard reflected on data that outlined signs of learning progress among Shawnee Mission students. She shared that the data is reflective of the quality of engagement and instruction she is seeing as she visits classrooms. “I am excited for the future and thank everyone who is sticking together to keep SMSD strong,” she expressed.