KCK schools put off in-person for 4 months due to high positivity rate

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Board of Education has decided that parents should plan on keeping their children at home until April due to high coronavirus infection rates

The district plans to keep schools closed for another four months, staving off in-person learning until at least the beginning of April. This decision means a lot more screen time for kids in KCK in the months ahead.

Gating criteria in KCKPS calls for online-only education in all grades when more than 10% of coronavirus tests are positive from the previous two weeks.

Wyandotte County currently has a positive test rate of 19.4%.

School leaders had hoped to return to the classroom in January. A district survey showed six in ten parents wanted to get back to some form of hybrid education, with kids in school at least on a part-time basis.

“Those numbers of parents wanting to go back have decreased somewhat,” Edwin Birch, a school district spokesman, said. “It is a concern that we have parents out there that are ready to return, then we have some parents who are not ready to return, for their students to return.”

Teachers and staff are being told not to plan to be back in their classrooms until March 22, with students returning to school on April 5. District leaders and the school board will continue to re-evaluate the situation, and make changes if the public health environment improves.

“It’s a difficult decision. We are here trying to meet the needs of as many individuals as possible,” Birch said.

Remote learning continues to pose a lot of challenges for both students and their parents. Even with technology in place, some kids struggle to learn on their own or lack the supervision of parents who must work.

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