OLATHE, Kan. — Students attending the Olathe School District head back to classes next week.

Students in elementary school, 6th grade and 9th grade return for a half day of school on Thursday Aug. 11. School begins for everyone else in the district on Friday, Aug. 12.

Safety

School safety is a big topic for families with students attending schools in the district.

This year teachers and staff will have a new option at their fingertips. The district launched a new safety system called CrisisAlert. All staff members will wear a badge with a push button.

The button immediately alerts the district, school resource officers and first responders that help is needed. It also provides the location of the emergency.

The new safety system was already planned prior to the shooting at Olathe East High School in March.

Parents who have questions about safety protocols can call the district’s Safety Services department at 913-780-8052.

Menus

The Olathe School District is warning families about potential challenges with feeding students as the new school year begins.

The district said it’s school food service program is facing “unprecedented issues” with the supply chain. The district warns the issues may cause it to alter posted menus with little or no notice.

The district is working with distributors and manufacturers to make sure it has enough food to feed students, but says availability changes daily.

The district intends to serve the posted menu, but warns there will be times when that’s not possible.

More information on the menu plan is listed on the district’s website.

Transportation

Registration is required for all students who plan to take advantage of school transportation.

Free transportation is offered for students who live at least 2.5 miles from school, as well as students who qualify for free and reduced-cost lunch and meet mileage eligibility.

Students attending a 21st Century Academy program outside of their normal home school boundaries will also be transported at no cost.

Bus transportation may be available for a fee if students live less than 2.5 miles from school if there is an existing route in the area.

Families who registered for transportation by July 22 should have received bus assignments the first week of August.

The Olathe School District has additional information about bus transportation online.

School Supplies

Elementary school supply lists for 2022-23 may vary somewhat from school to school, but the districtwide list lets parents know the basic necessities.

Parents are encouraged to check with their child’s school to see which list the school uses.

Lists are posted on the district’s website.

Middle school and high school students will learn specific supply needs from their teachers on the first day of class.

Mental Health

The Olathe School District is also expanding mental health programs for students during the 2022-23 school year.

The new approach also allows students to see therapists in the community instead of the mental health workers based at schools.

The district said it believes the change will make it easier for parents to schedule appointments and students will miss less class time.

The district said all referrals will remain confidential and fees will be paid directly to providers, not the school district.

Some providers accept insurance plans, but there is financial assistance and scholarships available to any family who needs it.

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