KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some parents with students in Kansas City Public School are feeling a little deflated after the district’s most recent board meeting.
Board members heard that some students might return to the classroom – at earliest – November 9. But there are a lot of moving pieces to the decision. The district is not just looking at the COVID-numbers from where students live but from where staff live as well.
KCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell simply states that the COVID-19 numbers in the zip codes they are looking at are too high.
“If we are not able to bring students back, I as a superintendent have a responsibility to continue to engage my faculty and staff on looking at some of our students that right now we are struggling to make contact with or they are struggling because it is just not working for them on this virtual platform,” Bedell said.
“It is critical that we flood resources in these communities because as I look at some of my zip codes and districts spread across multiple representation districts, it is so evidently clear that we have a crisis and we need to address this,” KCPS Board Member Manny R. Abarca IV said.
A new virtual dashboard for KCPS parents, students, and staff was planned for release on Thursday. The dashboard’s main purpose is to inform students and staff on the presence and risk of COVID-19 in district buildings and communities while making the information accessible and transparent.
But that access to information will not open schools faster.
Instead, Supt. Bedell suggested during a Q&A session with board members, changing habits city-wide or a vaccine will be able to truly affect that trajectory.
“The one thing that I don’t want to be accused of is engaging in educational malpractice by not doing anything at all when I know that we have kids that are drowning right now,” Bedell said.