OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — After taking no action last week, the Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education approved its second semester COVID-19 mitigation plan Monday night.

Right now, masks are mandatory for the next eight days or so after the positivity rate was more than 3% following winter break.

Monday brought some guidance on what takes effect Tuesday.

“As a board member, as a parent, as a human being, I want us to start thinking, the community to start thinking about where we’re going to find this new normal,” board member April Boyd-Noronha said.

But it has been an uphill climb. Tests are so hard to come by the board is pausing test to stay, where a student can return to school with a negative test following an exposure.

“We’re right not putting a pause on test to stay today so that we can work to get our symptomatic individuals through testing,” said Christy Ziegler of student services.

As for the policy, masking remains mandatory for elementary students and teachers, and optional for those in secondary school.

If a student tests positive or someone suspects they’re positive due to symptoms, they’re out five days and they must wear masks in school days six through 10.

The board also added a provision for when the schools come back from a long break. If the county reports an 8% positivity rate, masks come back on until they can figure out the school’s rate, which needs to be below 3%.

The board heard from Shawnee Mission South senior Jack Shaw, who says the plan doesn’t go far enough with masks.

“I’d advocate for universal mandate, because I know that there are those that have to be at school,” Shaw said. “Unlike other things you don’t just choose to be there, but I’ve had teachers who have been absent consistently, friends of mine who are immunocompromised, teachers who are immunocompromised.”