Many questions about school brought to Pratt forum

Kahrie Stegman
Pratt Tribune
Superintendent Tony Helfrich answers questions regarding Pratt USD 382 fall school reopening dates in the Liberty Middle School Auditorium. A Zoom option was available for those unable to attend or who felt safer in an online format.

Since Governor Laura Kelly made an Executive Order for schools to open no earlier than September 8, parents and students alike have had many questions and concerns about how the 2020-21 school year will begin. On Tuesday, July 14, Pratt USD 382 Superintendent Tony Helfrich held an information and update forum for parents to ask questions about the upcoming school year. 

Though no one has all of the answers yet, especially regarding school activities, the district will continue to update families on changes and plans. 

“Yes, the delay can be frustrating and challenging for parents,” Helfrich wrote on Pratt USD 382’s website, “but we will use the time to continue preparations for a logistically challenging semester/year and acquire necessary supplies for following our planned procedures.”

Many questions were answered at the forum on Tuesday night. 

Since March, the district has used “zones” as a way of planning three different scenarios of learning. The zones are Green, Amber, and Red. Green is now split into two scenarios: Green and Green +. Green + is slightly more restrictive than Green. 

Social distancing requirements change from zone to zone. The green zone is a minimum of 3 feet when practical and possible, 

One hot topic over the reopening of schools is about masks and whether or not they will be required. 

Masks requirements will also change from zone to zone. Masks will be required in the Green + zone, but only when students are working in groups or when they need to be closer than 3-6 feet apart. Every student will be provided with two cloth masks. 

The use of lockers will be determined by each school principal. If principals decide not to use lockers, students will be allowed to use a backpack in place of a locker. 

Parents who are worried about their kids going to school can choose to move online or to homeschooling, both with the support and curriculum of USD 382. 

School activities and guidelines have not been determined by KSHSSA yet. 

Enrollment for all grades will be Monday, August 3 from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Pratt High School gymnasium. 

Helfrich encourages parents to enroll, even if they are not sure what they will decide to do this school year. 

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Helfrich wrote. 

A full list of questions and answers can be found at under the COVID-19 Info tab.