Details of Gov. Kelly’s K-12 executive orders

On Monday, July 20, Gov.Laura Kelly released two executive orders regarding K-12 education. The first, E.O., 20-58 (link), delaying the start of school until Sept. 9, will only go into effect if approved by a majority vote of the State Board of Education. A special meeting of the State Board has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday. (Links to agenda and livestreaming.) 

The second order, E.O. 20-59 (link), establishing health and safety protocols for K-12 schools, becomes effective Aug. 10. It does NOT require State Board approval. 

Delay of school opening 

In the proposed order delaying the opening of schools, K-12 public and private schools could not allow attendance, instruction, athletic practice or competition, rehearsal, performance, or other interaction of an instructional manner — including virtual, online, and any other direct or indirect means of providing instruction — between faculty/staff and students of public or private K-12 schools from Aug. 10 through Sept. 8. 

The order contains an exception that says it would NOT apply to non-accredited non-public schools, including home schools, but would apply to accredited nonpublic schools. 

There would be three exceptions to this prohibition. 

Concurrent college enrollment not in K-12 schools. Students enrolled concurrently to receive college credit may attend classes and K-12 faculty/staff may provide instruction for college credit in locations other than K-12 school attendance centers. 

Enrollment. Enrollment of students for the 2020-2021 school year and other administrative activities may occur in K-12 school attendance centers or elsewhere. 

Screening and Evaluations. Screenings and evaluations of students to determine accommodations and placement needs for the 2020-2021 school year may occur in K-12 school attendance centers or elsewhere. 

This order will NOT take effect unless approved by the State Board. 

School Health Protocols 

The Governor issued a second executive order that does not require State Board approval. This order says it would apply for all public and private schools and does not mention an exemption for non-accredited schools. It would require the following: 

Masks or face coverings. With certain limited exceptions, everyone in schools over the age of five will be required to wear masks or face coverings most of the time. Those exceptions include: 

Eating, working in certain spaces. While eating, or while working (other than preparing meals) in a room that is not open to students or visitors and in which all individuals can maintain six-foot social distance from others. 

Work Safety. While engaged in any activity during which it is unsafe or impossible to wear a mask or other face covering. 

Children under 5. Children who are not students and under the age of five, particularly children under the age of two. 

Health and Disability. Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering, and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing or communicating with such persons, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communications. 

Work regulations. Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk related to work, as determined by local, state or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines, and persons engaged in any lawful activity during which wearing a face covering is prohibited by law. 

Social distancing. In most cases, all persons in schools must maintain a six-foot social distance, except for brief incidental contact, or when in a classroom when everyone is wearing a mask. 

Hand sanitation.  All classrooms must have hand sanitizers, and persons must sanitize their hands at least once an hour 

Temperature checks. All persons entering public or private K-12 attendance centers must have their temperature taken before entering the building for the first time each day. 


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