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Educators, parents and agencies join forces to create guidance for reopening schools this fall

Posted: Jun 5, 2020
Categories: KSDE
Author: Ann Bush

Kansas remains optimistic that its school buildings will reopen in the fall. However, the lingering impact of COVID-19 will impact the opening in a variety of ways. Kansas schools will have to be prepared for any scenario that comes their way in the fall.

Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson assembled a task force in May to develop comprehensive guidance for safely reopening school buildings and for ensuring the continuity of academic rigor and assessment in the event school is interrupted for any reason.

“We want Kansans to know that we will have school in the fall, and that we are prepared to do everything within our power to keep staff, students and families safe,” Watson said. “This is a huge lift for our state. We have assembled the best minds in Kansas to address any scenario our education system might encounter as a result of this pandemic. Our Continuous Learning Task Force laid the groundwork earlier this spring when school buildings were forced to close. Now, we’re building from that work and the lessons we’ve learned to create an even more comprehensive resource to help guide schools this fall.”

Nearly 1,000 Kansas teachers, administrators, parents, school board members, Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) staff members and service center employees are collaborating on a statewide resource document.

An Operations Team is working on guidance on how to reopen schools safely – including sanitation, social distancing, busing and food service.

An Instructional Team is working on developing multiple possibilities of learning opportunities, including the options to move toward a competency-based education and assessment model broken into grade bands and organized by content areas.

The guidance document will be presented to the Kansas State Board of Education at its July meeting, and if approved, available to school districts in July.

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