Good morning,

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, there were a couple of changes made that will have an immediate effect on our school's day and schedule. We were given an unexpected opportunity for some valuable professional development pertaining to our new student assessment tool that we are implementing. Consequently, the Board of Education approved to release students at Linn and Hanover this Friday, April 16, 2021, at 12:30 p.m... Students will be fed lunch prior to being released.    

Another change was an amendment to the COVID-19 mask policy from mandatory to recommended. Students and staff will no longer be required to wear masks in the building or on school property. Mask wearing is recommended but not required going forward unless changed by order from the Washington County Health Department. 

Please keep in mind that if someone at school tests positive for COVID, everyone within 6-feet of the positive person for more than 10-minutes will be subject to a 10-day quarantine by the local health administration. Quarantine guidelines go back two days from the onset of symptoms, so often people do not know they are sick and unknowingly expose others. If the close contact has been vaccinated, both parties are wearing a mask, or the close contact has recovered after testing positive for COVID-19 in the past six months, then quarantine guidelines will not apply. 

The USD 223 staff, students, and community have done an incredible job of prevention inside and outside our school buildings. With the county numbers trending in the direction that they have been, the Board of Education decided it was time to place the choice to wear a mask into the student or parent’s hands. 

I want to remind you that several significant events are coming up on the calendar. It is possible that if your child does not choose to continue wearing a mask, they risk missing graduation, graduation parties, extra-curricular activities, etc. More than ever, please keep your child or children home if they show any signs or possible symptoms. 

Additionally, this will apply only to USD 223 property. We will respect and follow any guidelines set in place when we travel for trips, activities, sports, etc. We will be respectful of host locations or businesses’ rules pertaining to masks.

Summary: Masks recommended, not required
• School Vehicles/ Hallways/ Property – Recommended but not required
• Standard busing procedures and protocol
• Recommended in classrooms
• Guests – Masks recommended, not required

Again, please keep in mind that this can change immediately, at any time, by order of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington County Health Department or State of Kansas Health Department.

Please contact me at or by phone at the district office at 785.763.4231 with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

John Whetzal
Superintendent of Schools
USD 223 Barnes-Hanover-Linn