KCK Public Schools votes to delay in-person classes, go fully online for first 9 weeks

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools says they will uphold the governor’s decision to delay in-person classes this fall.

Instead, its school board voted Tuesday night that the district will start the first nine weeks of the school year completely online.

KCKPS said it will provide more details soon for families and staff.

Wyandotte County has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 in Kansas. As of Monday, the county has 3,825 positive cases of the coronavirus, the second most in the state.

On Monday, Gov. Laura Kelly introduced an executive order that would require all Kansas schools to delay in-person classes until after Labor Day. That would delay the start of school for most districts by three weeks.

The order will also affect the start of school activities and athletics. There will be exceptions for students enrolled in dual-credit college classes.

However, the order is subject to the approval of the State Board of Education. The elected, 10-member school board can block Kelly’s plan under a law enacted last month as a compromise between the governor and the GOP-controlled Legislature.

The state school board is set to meet this Wednesday, and the governor is urging them to vote in favor of her order.

Kelly also introduced a second executive order on Monday, which sets health and safety precautions once students come back to school buildings.

It is not subject to the school board’s approval, the governor said, and has already been signed.

It would require face masks for all students, teachers and staff in all school buildings.

There are some exceptions, like when eating or doing activities where it’s not safe to wear a mask, or for students with a mental or health condition or who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The order also requires six feet of social distancing, except during in-person instruction when masks are worn.

Hand sanitizer is required in every classroom under the order, and all staff and children are expected to sanitize their hands once an hour, Kelly said.

Additionally, everyone entering the building will have their temperature checked every day.

Kelly said the additional three weeks, if approved by the board, will give school districts more time to secure supplies to follow these requirements.

The governor also hopes it will be enough time for cases to go down in Kansas.

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