Here’s what Kansas City metro school districts have planned for fall amid pandemic

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Picture of kids in a classroom

The American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing for students to be physically present in classrooms.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the end of summer approaches and the rate of new coronavirus cases has recently increased across the country, school districts are grappling with how to proceed.

Some districts have not yet announced final decisions, but some have and all are in the process of figuring out what school looks like when summer ends.

FOX4 will update this story as more districts release information. Drop down the tabs below to see plans for each public school district on the Kansas and Missouri side of the metro:


KANSAS

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued two executive orders regarding school this fall. The first would have moved the back-to-school date back to after Labor Day. This order did not pass the state board of education in a 5-5 vote, so it was struck down. The second order requires masks, social distancing and hand sanitizer in all classrooms. This has been signed and does not need to be approved.


Douglas County

Baldwin City has delayed classes until Sept. 9 and 10 depending on grade. Leaders are planning to provide on-site and remote learning choices this fall, but on-site learning could move to hybrid learning if cases continue to climb. The district said it plans to follow all of the governor’s health requirements. Find videos on the districts reopening plan here.

Eudora has voted to delay classes until Sept. 3 with students attending for back-to-back half days. The first full day of classes will be Sept. 8. At that time, students who opted for in-person learning will begin a hybrid schedule. Regular hand-washing, masks and temperature checks will be required. The district also plans to offer 100% remote learning. Read the latest announcement here.

The Lawrence school board voted to delay classes until Sept. 8 with six weeks of 100% distance learning at that time. The district says this will give staff more professional development and preparation time. When students are able to return, the district’s task force has prepared three potential models — in-person, hybrid and distance learning. Read more here.

Johnson County

After rejecting Johnson County’s gating criteria, the Blue Valley school board adopted the Kansas State School Board’s criteria, implementing local data. On Aug. 21, the district announced it has opted for a hybrid learning mode for elementary students, but middle and high school students will learn remotely. School starts Sept. 9. Find the latest details here.

The school board decided to delay the start of school until Sept. 9 for most students. Preschoolers and grades 10-12 will start on Sept. 10. Although families were able to choose from in-person or virtual learning, the district announced Aug. 18, that it will follow the health department’s gating criteria guidelines. They’ll welcome K-4th grade back for in-person learning, but 5-12th graders will be learning remotely to begin. Read more on the district’s plan here.

USD 232 voted to approve a delayed start of the 2020-21 school year to Sept. 8. The district announced Aug. 18 that it will start with remote learning, but then changed on Aug. 24 after taking “into account students mental health.” The new plan will follow the Kansas State Board of Education’s “yellow” level, opting for a hybrid model pre-K through 12th grade. Students and staff will wear masks when social distancing can’t be maintained. See the KSBE gating criteria, here.

Olathe Schools voted to delay classes for three weeks, starting after Labor Day instead. Families were able to choose between remote learning and in-person classes this fall, but on Aug. 19, the district announced middle and high school students will learn remotely to start. Elementary students will attend in a hybrid schedule based on last name, splitting the week with in-person and remote learning. Read more on that latest development here.

The Shawnee Mission School District has delayed classes until after Labor Day. When classes begin, SMSD announced it plans to have remote learning for all grade levels. The news comes after recommendations from the health department. The district initially let families choose between in-school learning and remote learning. Kids who chose in-school will be able to transition back to the classroom when cases decline. Read a draft of SMSD’s reopening plan here.

Spring Hill initially gave families the decision between in-person or remote learning, but has since decided that all middle and high school students will start remotely. Elementary students who opted for in-person will still come to school buildings. Spring Hill is the only public school district in Johnson County that did not delay classes until after Labor Day, as the governor recommended. USD 230 will start classes on Aug. 26. Read more on Spring Hill’s reopening plan here.

Wyandotte County

Under a new Wyandotte County Health Department order, USD 204 has delayed classes until Sept. 8. The district will offer both remote and hybrid learning where students will alternate between days in school and days online. Read the parent overview here.

KCK Public Schools announced on July 21 that it will honor Kelly’s order, delaying classes until after Labor Day. The district will start on Sept. 8 but will then hold the first nine weeks of school completely online. Read more here: KCK Public Schools going fully online for first 9 weeks

The first full day of classes will be Sept. 9 for Piper students. Because of an order from the Wyandotte County Health Department, in-person learning is limited to 50% capacity. Elementary students will attend Monday through Thursday with online activities on Fridays. Middle and high school students will attend at least one day a week with individual schools making the plans. Students can also choose fully remote learning. See the full, detailed plan for Piper USD 203’s reopening here.

Turner will delay start until at least Sept. 8. The district released its reopening plan on July 28 with plans to offer blended or fully remote learning. Because of an order from the Wyandotte County Health Department, school capacity is limited to 50%. Those who choose blended learning will be assigned to Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday classes with alternating Fridays. See Turner’s full reopening plan here.


MISSOURI


Cass County

Archie is set to begin classes on Aug. 25. Families were able to choose from in-person or remote learning. However, those who attend in person will learn remotely on Wednesdays to allow for the school to be deep cleaned. Read the reopening plan here.

Belton began school on Aug. 24, offering in-person classes and distance learning this fall. They will utilize frequent sanitizing, social distancing and face masks for all students and staff. Find the district’s full reopening plan here.

Students in Drexel schools will be able to choose between in-person or remote learning this fall. Classes start Aug. 25.Read the district’s full reopening plan, including health and safety protocols, here.

East Lynne is scheduled to begin classes on Aug. 25. Families were able to select between in-person or remote learning this fall. Face masks will be optional but provided, and handwashing and sanitization will be increased. Read more about the district’s reopening plans here.

Harrisonville is giving families an option for in-person learning or virtual learning this fall. Students and staff on site will wear face masks when social distancing isn’t possible, and the district will utilize other health precautions as well. Classes started Aug. 24. Read the district’s full plan here.

Classes for Midway started Aug. 24 under a hybrid schedule to implement better social distancing. Families were able to select in-person learning or online classes. Read the district’s reopening plan on its website.

Pleasant Hill began the school year Aug. 24, and they are using an in-person hybrid model, where students attend every day for part of the day — either morning or afternoon. They’ll also have virtual learning for the other portion of the day. Families can also opt for a fully online model. Pleasant Hill says it hopes to eventually transition to a more traditional schedule. Read the full reopening plan here.

Ray-Pec’s back-to-school plans includes a choice of in-person classes or remote learning. The district is taking several safety precautions, including face masks at certain times, lunch in classrooms and wellness checks. Elementary schools will have full in-person, while grades 6-12 will run on an alternative schedule. Classes started Aug. 24. Read more on Ray-Pec’s website.

Sherwood Cass started school on Aug. 24. The district is offering both face-to-face classes and online learning with many classrooms live streamed or recorded for online students. Faculty and staff will wear masks, along with students in grades 6-12. Find more on the district’s plan here.

Strasburg is offering in-person or remote learning. Classes started on Aug. 24. Read the district’s reopening plan here.

Clay County

Excelsior Springs has delayed classes until Sept. 8. The district offered its students three options: traditional, in-person learning; virtual learning through the district; or online learning through a third-party vendor. Middle and high school students who opted for in-person learning are under a hybrid schedule. Elementary students are still attending in person. Face masks are required. Find more information here.

Kearney has delayed classes until Sept. 8. The district offered in-person or virtual learning options this fall. For now, the district is planning for a hybrid schedule for middle and high school students and a regular schedule for elementary students. Everyone will be required to wear masks at school and on the bus, and the district will increase sanitization. Read more on the plan here.

Liberty offered families a choice of face-to-face classes or virtual learning this year for all grades. For those who selected in-person classes, middle and high schoolers will be on a hybrid schedule while elementary students will be on a normal schedule. Students and staff will be required to wear face masks, per county health order, and Liberty has plans for increased sanitization. Classes start Sept. 8. Read more on the district’s plan here.

NKC’s school board has voted to move the first day of school to Sept. 8. The district is offering in-person and online learning this fall. North KC recently said if classes were to start today, they would opt for hybrid learning for middle and high school and in-person for elementary. Masks will be required, and the district is implementing other safety precautions. Read the full plan here.

Smithville has delayed classes until Sept. 8. The district is offering in-person and virtual learning this fall. For those who selected in-person learning, at the middle and high school level, there will be a hybrid schedule. Elementary students will attend daily Monday-Friday. Students and staff at school will be required to wear face masks, and sanitization will be increased. Read more on the plan here.

Jackson County

The Blue Springs School District announced it will delay classes until Sept. 8. Families will have a choice of in-person classes or distance learning. As of Aug. 10, about 80% have opted for in-person classes. The district says that means social distancing will be a goal but a full 6 feet will not always be possible. Read more here: Read the district’s reopening plan here.

Center’s school board approved a plan to delay classes until Aug. 26 and then start the school year fully virtual. The district’s plan breaks down into three phases, moving from phase to phase as cases decrease. Eventually the district hopes to transition to a hybrid schedule — while still giving families a fully online option — and then to traditional learning. Read the full plan here.

Fort Osage has delayed classes until Sept. 8. The are offering online or in-person classes this fall. For families who chose in-person, K-4th grade will have a normal schedule but 5th-12th grade will have a hybrid schedule. Staff and students on site over the age of 5 will be required to wear a face mask, and the district plans to prioritize classroom sanitizing and hand-washing. You can find the district’s full plan here.

Grain Valley has delayed classes until Sept. 8. The district plans to begin middle and high school with a hybrid learning model, which will alternate students between virtual and in-person learning. Elementary students will have a normal schedule. The district is also offering full online learning. Students and staff will be required to wear a mask on site, and families have the option to switch to virtual learning at any point. Read the full plan on the district’s website.

Grandview will delay classes until Sept. 8. At that point, students who selected in-person learning will begin the school year with distance learning until further notice. The district hopes that, if cases go down, they’ll be able to bring students back to classrooms. Families also have the option to do distance learning for the entire semester. Find more information on the district’s website.

Hickman Mills began classes Aug. 24, but all students will learn 100% online through Oct. 21. The district initially gave families an option for in-person or virtual learning. Read more on the latest development here.

The Independence School District gave families a choice between in-person classes and distance learning. Despite pushback from the health department, classes started Aug. 24 with elementary students in person and older students on a hybrid schedule. Read the districts return-to-school plan here.

The Kansas City Public Schools board voted unanimously to delay the start of school until Sept. 8 as coronavirus cases surge in Missouri and Kansas. The district will follow a five-phase reopening plan, starting with 100% distance learning.

READ: KCPS board unanimously approves delaying start of school this fall

Lee’s Summit is delaying classes until Sept. 8. Families were able to choose between in-person and online learning. The district was initially prepared for all students to learn virtually, but on Aug. 25 decided to have pre-K through 3rd graders attend in-person while grades 4-12 stay with online learning. Read more on the latest development here.

Lone Jack has delayed classes until Sept. 8. The district is offering in-person and fully virtual classes this fall. Students and staff will be required to wear masks, and students will be screened for symptoms at the start of every day. Read even more on Lone Jack’s plan here.

Oak Grove has delayed classes until Sept. 8. Families have two options for fall classes: remote or in person. Families must commit to a full semester. Masks will be required under county health order.Read Oak Grove’s plan here.

Raytown has delayed classes until Sept. 8 and at that point will start school virtually for at least the first quarter for all grade levels. When schools reopen, based on the district’s plan, they will follow city/county guidelines on face masks. Virtual learning will be instructed through a blend of Raytown teachers and third-party platforms. READ: Raytown school board votes to go totally virtual for first quarter

Platte County

The district has delayed classes until Sept. 8 and will be offering online and in-person learning. North Platte require face masks for most students and staff, under county health order. The district will also increase cleaning and hand-washing. Find the full plan here.

Park Hill announced it will delay classes until Sept. 8. At that point, older students who have opted for in-person classes will attend in a hybrid schedule. Children K-5th will still attend in-person. The district plans to implement safety precautions for in-person classes, including physical distancing, mask wearing and limiting visitors. Families are also able to opt for fully online learning. Read more about Park Hill’s plan here.

Platte County has delayed classes until Sept. 8. Families were able to choose between in-person or remote learning this fall. In-person students in 6-12th grades will attend on a hybrid schedule when classes start. Elementary students will still attend daily. Students and staff are expected to wear face masks, particularly any time social distancing is not possible. The district’s detailed plan can be found on its website.

Classes have been delayed until Sept. 8 for West Platte students. The district gave families an option between face-to-face learning or virtual learning. Masks will be required for older students under county health order. Younger students will be required only at certain times. Read the district’s full plan here.

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