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Bethel schools to switch to alternative scheduled due to COVID-19

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

Due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases Bethel Public Schools announced it will switch to an alternative schedule starting Nov. 30. 

According to Superintendent Tod Harrison, while district cases are low, the current number of positive coronavirus cases are predicted to push Pottawatomie County into the red category.  

"Our plan will be to move to a Monday, Wednesday and Friday in-person schedule and provide distance or virtual learning to those students on Tuesdays and Thursdays," Harrison said. "The first step will lessen exposure opportunities and allow for extra deep cleaning of facilities two days a week." 

Harrison said teachers and staff will remain on campus each day of the week to facilitate learning.  

"The Alternative Education students will be notified of any schedule changes to their program," Harrison said. 

The superintendent said in-season sports and activities will continue with additional COVID guidelines in an attempt to protect students who wish to participate as long as possible. 

"These guidelines are being discussed now and will be published in the same manner within the next few days," Harrison said.  

Harrison said with the potential uptick in positive case numbers due to gatherings at Thanksgiving, the chance for outside of school exposure is a concern.  

"Now is a very good time to avoid large gatherings. We ask that everyone be mindful of this in regard to your family's health and safety," Harrison said. 

The superintendent said it is the goal of the district to return to full-time, in-person learning when it's safest for everyone.  

"We will continue to consult with our county health department for guidance on all future decisions," Harrison said. "These decisions will be evaluated each week and changes will be published as early as possible."  

Check back for updates.