Wellington Unified School District 353 votes 6-1 for a mask mandate when classes resume

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Wellington USD 353 has approved a mask mandate for schools in district

The Wellington Unified School District 353 Board of Education has voted 6-1 for a mask mandate when classes resume on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The vote was held on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at the Wellington High School auditorium. BOE member Pat Zeka was the only person to vote against the mandate. 

Face masks will be required to those inside USD 353 facilities if the total number across the district are more than the following criteria:

  • Community Gating Criteria = KDHE County Case rate (Blue)
  • Student Absenteeism = Less than 3% absent 
  • Daily testing = less than 50 students
  • Positive New Cases Per Week = Less than 4 cases

If the total numbers across the district are less than the criteria in all four areas, masks will be highly recommended, but not required inside USD 353 facilities. 

Students who are in quarantine within the school building and in the testing program will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination or mask requirement status, until the quarantine period is over. 

Social distancing will be enforced when possible, however, cannot be guaranteed in every classroom or circumstance. When social distancing is not possible, students will be grouped in small groups or cohorts of 5 students or less. When possible, schools will use social distancing strategies during lunch periods. 

Ten minutes have been added to each day to ensure we meet our required hours due to the temporary closure. New dismissal times are as follows:

  • Elementary Schools: 3:35 p.m.
  • Wellington Middle School: 3:20 p.m.
  • Wellington High School: 3:15 p.m.

Students participating in KSHSAA activities that have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to have a doctor’s release to resume athletic activities. This should be given to the athletic director and/or medical staff in the building.

Updated: Details have been addressed in a statement by USD 353 Athletic/Activities Director Luke Smith.