Officials with the Manhattan-Ogden school district say the COVID-19 data dashboard will return to the district website for this school year.

USD 383 assistant superintendent Eric Reid said the data dashboard will be back in service in the next few weeks with some updates to the design.

The dashboard, which is used to track COVID-19 cases and quarantines throughout the district, has not been updated since May when the 2020-21 school year ended.

Reid said 41 students and four staff members were in quarantine last week because of the coronavirus. He did not say which schools those students and staffers are from.

Reid did say those cases were not all in one school. Reid said some classes were impacted by quarantines more than others last week, but “we never approached half of any class or grade level” being sent home.

Reid said the new data dashboard will look “a little different than last year.”

“We are working with health officials on what that looks like,” Reid said.

Reid did not have a firm release date on the dashboard. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in Riley County, USD 383 administrators recognize the need to continue tracking the number of cases and quarantines within the district.

Students in the district are back in class in-person, five days a week. USD 383 is requiring everyone to wear masks inside schools and other district buildings through Sept. 24, while other virus mitigation measures like frequent handwashing and physical distancing remain in place. District officials will re-evaluate whether to extend the mask requirement by using COVID-19 data gathered during the first five weeks of classes.

Families are asked to keep students at home if they are not feeling well, and to notify their schools if they stay home. USD 383 doesn’t have a hybrid learning option for students this year; a bill passed by the Kansas Legislature this spring removed hybrid and remote learning options for all districts statewide.

Teachers may provide paper copies of assignments for students quarantining or upload those assignments to the district’s learning management system, Canvas.

Absences because of COVID-19 quarantine or isolation are considered “excused” as long as the parent or guardian of a student keeps school administrators informed of the situation.