Kansas Laura Kelly schools closed for rest of year

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Kansas Laura Kelly schools closed for rest of year.

Gov. Laura Kelly is closing all K-12 schools through the end of the semester, moving instruction online as the state responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kelly’s Tuesday afternoon announcement comes as several school districts already had extended spring breaks and colleges and universities had moved to online instruction for the rest of the school year.Kansas has at least 18 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to spread in the state, officials said.

Earlier Tuesday the House approved a bill to give laid-off workers another 10 weeks of unemployment benefits as employees face virus-related business closures.

Wichita Public Schools (USD 259) Superintendent, Dr. Alicia Thompson

At 4pm today, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that Kansas schools would be closed for school as we know it through May 31. The Governor’s executive order means that the remainder of the school year in the Wichita Public Schools will not occur in a traditional school environment that brings large numbers of students and staff together in one location.

I understand the hardship that school closure places on our families, as well as the social and emotional impact it may have on our students. I also realize that this announcement raises a lot of questions for you. It does for our WPS team too. Many district leaders have been working together this week, and will continue to do so, in order to work out answers to all of these questions. More information will be available in the coming days.

Here’s what we know today:

School buildings will be closed for traditional classes beginning Monday, March 23. Learning will continue, but it will look different. Kansas districts have been directed to develop “continuous learning plans.” Exactly what that looks like for WPS is yet to be determined. It is important for you to understand that while school will look different, learning will continue in some form. There will be no delivery of any type of instruction to students prior to Monday, March 30, 2020. Please remain tuned in to your email and phone messages, as well as the district web site, for specific instructions about learning opportunities going forward.

Spring events and athletics will be cancelled. The most common questions we have received have been about prom events, spring athletics, and graduation ceremonies. The Governor’s order means that these springtime traditions will NOT occur as scheduled. I know how important this time is for our students and their families, and I’m sorry that your students will not get the opportunities they have been looking forward to. As we plan for the future, we will talk about how we will celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates in an appropriate manner.

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Students will still be able to graduate. I will be working with our Board of Education and our high school leaders to determine what needs to be done in order to allow our graduating seniors to complete graduation requirements and receive their high school diplomas. Detailed information will be sent to seniors and their families in the next several weeks.

Meals for students will continue. We are working on a plan to provide breakfast and lunch to students through the remainder of the school year. We will send you additional information soon about detailed arrangements for grab and go meals which will be available at no cost to children 18 and under, distributed at locations throughout our community.

Our team will continue to provide you with updates as we work our way through what is truly uncharted territory. Parents will receive official messages through Parentlink (phone and email), text alerts and on the district web site. Please continue to remain engaged in order to receive critical information updates as soon as they are available.

I know this is a time of great uncertainty, which can be especially trying on children who are used to the routine of the school year. Everyone involved – from state officials to our county health partners to the leaders within our school district – is working intently to do what is right and best for children and our community. There are no easy decisions, only decisions that we believe are being made with safety and health of our students in mind.

I pledge to continue keeping you informed as decisions are made that impact the work of the Wichita Public Schools. You can expect the next update from WPS on Friday, March 20. Until then, please focus on personal hygiene habits and health practices that will promote your family’s well-being.

• Passed legislation extending unemployment benefits to assist Kansans as they navigate these
difficult times.
• Cancelled non-essential committee meetings and allowed office assistants to go home.
State of Kansas
House of Representatives
House conferees continue to stand ready to meet with their Senate counterparts to prepare a base budget
that will provide stability to the core functions of government. It is now our goal to adjourn the 2020
legislative session as soon as practical.
The disruptions inherent in dealing with these present challenges are not and will not be easy. Some
Kansans will face illness, others economic hardship and for some mere inconvenience. No matter what
any one of us may face, we all will help each other through. Throughout our state’s history we have faced
hardship, natural disasters and economic downturns. But we have always pulled together, endured
sacrifices and emerged stronger for them. This time will be no different.

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Valley Center (USD 262) Superintendent Cory Gibson

Greetings Hornet Families,

Today, March 17, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly announced all public school facilities across the state are to close immediately for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year as a response to COVID 19.

We understand this will place hardships on our families and staff. Please know that we have been working on contingency plans for the past few weeks, and we will continue to focus our efforts, given the parameters we are under, on what is best for our families.

Although school facilities will be closed, we are making plans for education to continue for all students. During the contingency planning sessions, USD 262 Leadership teams have been discussing a variety of topics including how we can best meet the ongoing learning needs of our students, provide breakfast and lunch, and connect families to child care resources. We know there are many questions, and we are working with KSDE, KDHE, and other related agencies and will give you the most up to date information as soon as we possibly can.

We are committed to working together as a community to support one another throughout these unprecedented times, and communication will remain a top priority. We will continue to update you via email and social media. I am also planning to host an online session to provide additional information and to give an opportunity for questions.

Derby (USD 260) Superintendent Heather Bohaty

Derby Public Schools will be closed for the remainder of this school year. This closure is an effort to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is under an executive order from Governor Laura Kelly.

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Providing quality education and a safe environment for our students, staff and community stakeholders is always our top priority and will remain our priority. Derby Public Schools is committed to continuing to provide exceptional services to our community. While we know this is in the best interest of our community as a whole, we are aware it certainly creates many questions and challenges for our students, families and staff. We will have educational opportunities for our families. Additional information will be shared in the coming days including:

what continuous learning for our students will look like for the remainder of this school year

how we will continue to serve students with IEPs (Individualized Education Programs)

details on free meal services for children ages 1-18 in our community

events (such as graduation) which would be postponed to a later date

At our Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 23 we are recommending that staff will continue to be paid during this time. Staff will receive more information on what their work schedule will look like in the days ahead.

An online Zoom meeting will be scheduled next week for both staff and families to receive further information and ask questions directly to myself and other district leadership. The date and time of this meeting and all other updates will continue to be communicated with families and staff via Skylert, our mass notification tool, and posted on www.derbyschools.com. (Please note our website has a translation feature. Click on “Select Language” and choose your preferred language from the dropdown.)

As a reminder, this school closure is in response to the current public health crisis. The focus should remain on preventing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please be mindful of the following:

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing (cough/sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue)

Please keep sick children at home

Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

Again, Derby Public Schools is committed to continuing to provide exceptional services to our community. These services will look different during this period of time, but do know we are here to support our students, families and staff.

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