Northland schools planning return to full in-person learning for students

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NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three of the Northland’s largest school districts will soon send students back to full-time in-person learning. 
 
Sadie Shearer is thankful her North Kansas City middle school soon will soon shift from two to five days of in-person school. 

“I’m not an overly emotional person, but I just had tears at that moment, for him to be able to be with his peers and not isolated and be able to get real time feedback from his teachers. He’s over the moon excited and I am too,” Shearer said. 

Sadie knows her son’s grades haven’t been the same and is hopeful being in the same space with his teachers daily will make a world of difference. 

“I tend to be optimistic about it and I’m hopeful that this in person learning will kind of just help everybody get caught up and be on the same page,” she said. 

North Kansas City Schools said the switch to full-time in-person classes are possible thanks to a major drop in COVID-19 cases. It’s from nearly more than 10 a day to roughly three a day. Rapid testing is available at all schools, and the district said it has the highest number of contact tracers per employee and student.   

Parents are grateful students who have struggled with mental health will soon get a slice of normalcy back. 

“Mental health has become a very common underlying theme in our family. Being a mental health nurse myself I know from professional side how it’s affecting children and families in a very negative way being home from school having lack of routine,” said parent Justine Edwards. 

North KC Schools will reopen full-time March 22 when 4th quarter starts, a week before spring break. That’s the same time when teachers and staff will start getting the COVID-19 vaccine 

“I think with the social distancing measures and kiddos still wearing masks, everyone on site wearing masks, I think that’s enough,” Shearer said. 

In neighboring Park Hill, school will also resume March 22, about a week after the first school staffers are vaccinated. 

Liberty will ramp up to four-days in-person learning April 5, two weeks after the first teachers there get shots. 

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“It feels like we’re turning corner, maybe we’re not at home base yet but we’ve at least feel like we’ve rounded third now,” Edwards said. 

For families who chose virtual learning in all three large Northland districts, nothing changes when full-time in-person classes start back up. 

In North Kansas City, that’s nearly 40% of middle and high schoolers, so the district feels confident that’ll help with distancing and keeping everyone safe as this transition happens. 

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