Tonganoxie USD 464 moving forward with winter extracurriculars
Tonganoxie USD 464 will allow some in-person extracurricular activities, most notably winter sports, the school board decided during a lengthy special meeting Monday in front of more than 60 attendees.
Many in the crowd were student-athletes and parents, along with some teachers and building administrators.
The school board allowed public comment during the meeting as it looked at Superintendent Loren Feldkamp’s revised recommendation for district learning and activities as COVID-19 cases continue to be on the rise in Leavenworth County as the calendar moves from Thanksgiving weekend to December.
The district will continue with distance learning through Jan. 4, with sports practices being allowed again. Student-athletes in basketball and wrestling resumed practices Tuesday. All were on hiatus effective the day before Thanksgiving, as the positive rate in Leavenworth County was moving to the red zone. Positive rate numbers have gone back down, which led to the revised recommendations, though Feldkamp will continue to monitor Leavenworth County Health Department positive rate numbers each Monday afternoon in December and plan accordingly for two-week periods. Feldkamp also will make a determination on Dec. 29 whether to continue remote learning when classes resume Jan. 4.
The board also will be working on fine-tuning the strategic reopening plan moving forward. They also approved an extracurricular activities participation agreement for those involved in winter sports. The consent waiver also lays out guidelines for potential suspension of practice and competitions due to COVID-19 restrictions.
At the end of the nearly 2 1/2 hour meeting that triggered lively conversation among board members and patrons, Board President Jim Bothwell floated the idea of drafting a document encouraging the city of Tonganoxie and Leavenworth County to enact mask mandates for board discussion. But Board Member Kaija Baldock voiced opposition to it and no action was taken. The Leavenworth County Health Department has urged county commissioners to create a countywide mask ordinance, but it hasn’t gained much traction among the governing body. Leavenworth and Lansing, meanwhile, instituted mask ordinances last week.