Blue Valley says middle, high school students will start hybrid schedule next month

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Blue Valley Schools has opted to bring older students back to their classrooms next month.

The district has already notified parents that they plan to bring elementary students, who have been on a hybrid schedule, back to full-time in-person learning on Oct. 5.

Now, Blue Valley told parents on Monday that they will move middle and high school students to a hybrid schedule starting on Oct. 5 as well. Older students have been learning completely online so far.

The district said this will only impact families that initially opted for in-person learning. Those who selected the all-virtual option will continue online.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Dr. Tonya Merrigan said the decision came after examining current transmission rates in the community.

In August, Blue Valley voted to follow the Kansas State Department of Education’s gating criteria.

The district said Monday that data places Blue Valley Schools in the “yellow” level, which allows for in-person or hybrid for elementary and hybrid for middle and high school.

In her letter to families, Merrigan noted that the middle/high school hybrid schedule will look different than the elementary schedule to put students in school as much as possible.

“The middle and high school hybrid schedule will alternate in-person and at-home learning days on an AA/BB schedule and will not include the distance learning day in the current elementary hybrid model,” the superintendent wrote.

“While this alternating pattern means the in-person and at-home days will look different each week, this schedule offers maximum in-person time, which we know is a priority for our families.”

The news of even more students returning to classrooms comes just days after more than 100 people from Timber Creek Elementary were asked to quarantine for 14 days. Someone at the school tested positive for COVID-19, according to the health department.

Dozens of parents protested the decision, calling it an overreaction.

Blue Valley families have also been pushing for weeks to bring all students — not just the younger children — back to school. Just last week, parents packed the district’s board meeting, urging leaders to return to in-person learning.

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