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COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Update (3-25-20)

Continuous learning plans and remote learning details are being finalized.  Cottonwood elementary students should receive learning packets in the mail by the end of the week with instructions.  Students in grades 3-12 will receive information from their respective schools/teachers as to the expectations and how school will be conducted.  We are currently working on plans for students who need essential items picked up at school.  The respective building administrators and office personnel are working on contacting students/families.  We understand that this may not be a perfect process and kinks may need to be worked out, but I can assure you together we will get through this.  I appreciate the cooperation and teamwork from everyone.


All of our school buildings have wireless internet access that can be accessed from inside a car in school parking lots.  If your child has a school issued Chromebook, it should automatically connect to the appropriate wireless internet.  Other devices can use the “guest” wireless.  It is password protected, but for the next 60 days the password is “panthers”.  It is not a requirement for students to use, but is being offered as a resource to students and families.


USD 368 Special Board of Education Meeting

On March 26 at 6:00pm the Board of Education will hold a special meeting to approve the application waiver that must be submitted to the Kansas State Department of Education.  This meeting will be virtual.  Access to board meeting agendas and virtual log-in information can be found at: http://www.usd368.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/District%7CBoard%20of%20Education%3E%3EBoard%20Docs.  Click on the Board Docs link for all school board meeting agendas and information.


Breakfast / Lunch for students during COVID-19 School Closure

Starting Monday, March 30, the USD 368 food service department will provide free breakfast and lunch for all students ages 1-18 to be picked up at the Paola High School faculty parking lot (south lot) between 11a -1p.  Once the program is in place, there may be the opportunity to pick up multiple days at once, but to start, meals will be available on a daily basis.  Each day the student will receive lunch and breakfast for the following day.  Due to USDA guidelines, the students must be present when picking up the meals.  Questions regarding food pick-up can be directed to bill_rosich@usd368.org.






School / COVID-19 Update (3-19-2020)


USD 368 Parents and Students,

Each day the COVID-19 pandemic brings new challenges and information that we need to be aware of.  The email sent previously talked about Governor Kelly’s closing of schools.  This closing is for school facilities not closing the education for the students.  Next week, teachers and staff will be working on remote learning opportunities for all our students.  These opportunities could be a combination of virtual and paper/pencil activities, but could include other options.  The goal of the district is to help during these unprecedented times.  More information will be sent out next week on what the continuous learning plan will look like for our students.  Early next week you should receive a phone call from the district asking some pertinent questions regarding internet access, participating in the food service program for your children, etc.  Once this information is received, we hope to have specific information and details regarding our food service department providing breakfast and lunch opportunities for children and young adults ages 1-18.


With the closing of school facilities, we have locked access to our athletic fields.  This is to discourage students from congregating as the most recent recommendation is that groups be limited to 10 or less and that social distancing of six feet between people be maintained.


There are many questions and concerns about this closure.  The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) has officially cancelled all spring activities.  For those high school students, especially our Seniors, who will miss out on the opportunity to compete for a state medal this is especially heartbreaking.  The official announcement can be viewed on the KSHSAA website.  Other activities such as orientation nights, music programs, Prom, Graduation are also cancelled at this time.  Should some of the requirements be lifted postponing graduation until summer may be an option, but this is too early to determine.


Lastly, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued new quarantine regulations.  The new regulations now MANDATES quarantines for travelers and has added Florida to the list of states.  The full guidelines can be found at https://khap2.kdhe.state.ks.us/NewsRelease/PDFs/3-18-20%20Quarantine%20mandate%20FINAL.pdf.


Please stay safe, practice hand washing and maintain social distancing.  Together our community will get through this unfortunate and unprecedented situation. 


More information will be shared as it becomes available.



Matt Meek

USD 368 Superintendent




Mandate School Closing Infomation (3-17-2020)

This afternoon, Governor Laura Kelly, ordered all schools closed for the remainder of the school year.  This announcement does not alleviate our responsibility as a school district to provide educational opportunities for our students and does not mean summer break begins.  In essence this declaration means school will look different for the remainder of the school year.  All activities are currently cancelled until further notice.

Next week, March 23-27 will be an extended spring break for students.  The staff will use next week to outline and prepare lesson plans utilizing a remote learning format.  More information will be sent out next week with details.  The district will also be working on details on how to provide breakfast and lunch to students during the school shut down.  Once details are finalized, this information will be shared.
Please understand that this is a stressful situation for all of us.  We will work together to make the most of the situation and provide for the students.


W. Matthew Meek



KDHE Quarantine Recommendations (3-15-2020)




COVID-19 Update 3-15-2020


Governor Kelly, the Kansas State Department of Education, Kansas Department of Health and Environment are recommending that all schools in Kansas close the week of March 16-20.  For Paola we are fortunate that this is our spring break. During this time, any school activities that were scheduled are cancelled.  As a school district we are planning on being in school March 23 as scheduled, but at this time it is not known if this recommended closure will be extended beyond March 16-20.


More information will be sent out as it is received, but at this time I would recommend that parents have back-up plans for needed childcare should school be shut down beyond next week. 


Please take the necessary precautions regarding COVID-19 as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Kansas Department of Health and Environment.



W. Matthew Meek


USD #368 COVID-19 Information--Mar 13, 2020

New information was received late yesterday


With spring break occurring next week, many families may have trips scheduled.   The most recent information received from the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is asking any students or staff members who have traveled outside of the United States as of Feb. 25, 2020 and until all travel bands are lifted, should check in with their local public health department about their travel history, and follow the guidance from the public health department regarding isolation or quarantine measures.  This same protocol is also being recommended for anyone returning from travel to known “hot spots” for the virus and who have had no known direct exposure with the virus. 


We are asking that anyone who has traveled or will be traveling that meet the criteria above to help keep our community safe by following the recommendations above.  As a school district we do not have the authority to quarantine anyone who isn’t exhibiting any signs of illness and are relying on families to voluntarily follow the recommendations.     


Please understand that information and recommendations received about COVID-19 changes daily and sometimes multiple times a day.  This is the most recent information we have received.

W. Matthew Meek
USD 368

USD #368 COVID-19 Information--Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 2:12 PM

While the risk of COVID-19 to area residents remains low at this time, USD #368 is taking direction from the Miami County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to monitor and address the virus as the need arises. We have an existing plan that address infectious diseases and will continue to promote infection control practices to minimize risk for students and staff in the district.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 requires the same precautions as with Influenza (flu). Good hygiene is the best defense for controlling the spread of any illness. Important practices include:

·Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.

·Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

·Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then immediately throw away in a trash can

·Stay home if you are sick

·Avoid close contact with people who are sick

For the most accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 please visit www.cdc.gov or www.kdhe.ks.gov  

USD #368 takes the safety and well-being of our staff and students seriously. The district will have ongoing communication with Miami County Health Department and be prepared to add additional safety measures as directed.


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