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

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 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. 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. Remote learning will happen online but will be facilitated by a USD 348 teacher. More details are expected the week of Aug. 3.

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

The district announced on July 22 that it will delay the start of school until Sept. 9 after Labor Day. Blue Valley Schools will offer in-person classes after that, with modifications like face masks and temperature checks, and virtual learning taught by district teachers. Read more 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. Watch on YouTube: Gardner Edgerton School District Board of Education Meeting.

USD 232 voted to approve a delayed start of the 2020-21 school year to Sept. 8. They have planned to offer in-person learning and also online learning for families concerned about COVID-19. The district notes, however, that they have backups for hybrid and full remote learning if cases worsen. Students and staff will wear masks when social distancing can’t be maintained. More information is expected soon. Find the full plan here.

Olathe Schools voted to delay classes for three weeks, starting after Labor Day instead. Families will be able to choose between remote learning and in-person classes this fall. If needed, the district also has a plan for hybrid learning. Face masks will be required for all students and staff during in-person learning. READ: Olathe School District joins others, votes to delay start of classes.

Olathe has also approved their school calendar. New teachers will start on Aug. 17 and teachers from last year will start on Aug. 20. School will end in the spring for all on May 30. High schools will also start earlier, beginning at 7:45 a.m.

The Shawnee Mission School District has delayed classes until after Labor Day. The district has also released a draft of its plan, showing options for in-school learning and all remote schoolwork. If needed, the district could shift to blended learning as well Read SMSD’s draft 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.


Cass County

According to school board meeting minutes from July 20, the district’s task force plans to finalize its reopening plans during the second week of August. Right now, Archie is set to begin classes on Aug. 25.

On July 9, the district shared a draft of its reopening plan with families. At this time, Belton will offer in-person classes and distance learning this fall. They will utilize frequent sanitizing, social distancing and face masks for all students and staff. Read the full plan here.

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

East Lynne is scheduled to begin classes on Aug. 25. Hear more about the district’s reopening plans in this video.

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. Read the district’s full plan here.

Midway plans to release its plan at the beginning of August.

Pleasant Hill will begin the school year with 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 released its plan for back-to-school on July 10, which 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. Read more on Ray-Pec’s plan here.

Sherwood Cass released its plan on July 15 with plans for school to start 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 districts plan here.

In mid-July, the superintendent said the district’s reopening task force plans to share its plan with the school board during the week of ‪July 27 and with the community in early August.

Clay County

Excelsior Springs is offering its students three options this fall: traditional, in-person learning; virtual learning through the district; or online learning through a third-party vendor. Students will be encouraged to wear a face mask and staff will be required. Find more information here.

Kearney has delayed classes until Sept. 8. The district will offer in-person or online learning options this fall. However, if cases worsen, they are prepared to turn to hybrid learning where students attend on alternating days. Students and staff will be required to wear masks at school when social distancing is not possible, and the district will increase sanitization. Read more of the plan here.

Liberty is offering students a choice of face-to-face classes or virtual learning this year for all grades. The districts plans to take health and safety precautions and utilize some larger spaces in buildings to space students out more. Read more on the options and 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. Masks will be required, and the district is implementing other safety precautions. Read the full plan here.

Smithville is offering in-person and virtual learning this fall. Students and staff at school will be required to wear face masks, sanitization will be increased and bus transportation will see changes to decrease COVID-19 spread. 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 plans to release more information to families before Aug. 4.

Fort Osage will offer online or in-person classes this fall. 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 plans to begin school with a hybrid learning model, which will have students who opt for in-person schooling alternate between in-school and distance learning. The district first planned to hold full in-school learning for anyone who wanted it, but they acknowledged a hybrid plan may be necessary if needed. 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. Virtual students will have Grain Valley teachers and curriculum when possible. Read the full plan on its 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.

The district released its plan in mid-July, giving families an option for in-person or virtual learning. However, on July 31, Hickman Mills announced school will still start as scheduled on Aug. 24, but all students will learn 100% online through Oct. 21. Read more on the latest development here.

The Independence School District announced on July 8 that families will have a choice between in-person classes and distance learning. Read more here: In person or online? Some metro school districts giving students a choice this fall

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 after Labor Day. Families can choose between in-person and fully online learning. On Aug. 6, the board approved a plan for return to school with distinctions between K-3 and 4-12 based on COVID-19 spread. If community spread isn’t reduced before Aug. 25, school will begin virtually. Older students could use a hybrid model if cases improve. Read more on the latest development here.

Lone Jack will offer in-person and fully virtual classes this fall. Students and staff will be required to wear masks if social distancing can’t be maintained, and students will be screened for symptoms at the start of every day. Read even more on Lone Jack’s plan here.

Oak Grove families have two options for fall classes: remote or in person. Families must commit to a full semester by Aug. 3. The district is still working out some details, including blended classes for older students.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 of the school year 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 is offering online and in-person learning. North Platte will follow county/state regulations on face masks, but may also require mask use. Find the full plan here.

Park Hill announced it will delay classes until Sept. 8. At that point, students who have opted for in-person classes will attend in a split mode. Children K-5th will still attend in-person, and students in 6th-12th will attend based on a hybrid schedule. 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 families can choose between in-person or remote learning this fall. Students and staff are expected to wear face masks when attending in-person classes, particularly any time social distancing is not possible. The district’s detailed plan can be found on its website.

West Platte says a comprehensive reopening plan will be released soon. But parents will have an option between face-to-face learning or virtual learning.

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