ODESSA, Mo. — Multiple school districts in the Kansas City region have canceled classes or are planning remote learning due to COVID-19 and inclement weather.
The Odessa School District announced it will shift to virtual learning for the remainder of the week. The district said the change was necessary because of the number of sick staff and students.
“We have closely monitored our staff and student absences and the downward trend has continued,” the district said in a letter posted to its website Wednesday afternoon.
They weren’t the only district to make the same decision. Clinton School District also opted to have alternative method of instruction (AMI) days on Thursday and Friday due to staffing.
Clinton had AMI days on Tuesday and Wednesday as well, following the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
Sedalia School District also said due to wind chills and staff shortages, the district is canceling classes for Thursday and Friday.
Warrensburg School District said due to the anticipated weather and increased staff and student absences from COVID and other illnesses, it will cancel classes for Thursday and Friday. The district will not have any remote learning.
Knob Noster School District has also extended its school closure through Thursday and Friday due to student and staff illnesses.
And to the north in St. Joseph, classes were completely canceled Tuesday and Wednesday and have once again been canceled Thursday and Friday. However, there won’t be remote learning in St. Joseph.
Chillicothe schools have also closed for Thursday and Friday. The district cited the dangerous wind chills along with a large number of sick or absent staff and students.
Find more details for each district below.
These Missouri schools aren’t the first districts to struggle with staffing and COVID, forcing them to call off class.
Olathe, Eudora, De Soto, Bonner Springs/Edwardsville and Kansas City, Kansas school districts have also been forced to put the school year on hiatus in the past week.
Chillicothe will not offer virtual learning on Thursday or Friday. The district hopes to resume classes on Monday.
The school district said students in preschool through 5th grade should have learning packets to complete for these AMI days. Middle and high schoolers have school-issued Chromebooks to complete work. Students will be held accountable for completing assigned work.
Knob Noster is closed once again on Thursday and Friday. The district has been closed all week and was closed last Friday as well, as it struggles with a large number of staff and student absences and illnesses.
The district is not planning virtual learning during the closure and has not released any final decisions on making these days up yet.
High school students will be sent home Wednesday with the devices they need to learn from home. For students who were out of class on Wednesday, the district asks you to contact your student’s building to schedule a time to pick up necessary materials.
The district will continue to provide breakfast and lunch as a drive-thru option to students during AMI days. Meals can be picked up behind Odessa High School from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Families who have not completed the Meal Pickup Survey are asked to do so because it will help the district prepare the correct number of meals.
Athletics and other district activities will continue as scheduled.
The Odessa School District plans to resume in-person classes Monday, Jan. 24.
Sedalia district leaders noted that forecasts call for dangerous wind chills on Thursday and Friday.
Additionally, on Wednesday the district had over 100 teachers out due to illness and personal reasons, with only 21 substitutes available.
While there will not be remote learning for in-person students this week, Virtual Academy classes will go on as usual.
St. Joseph School District will make breakfasts and lunches available to students. Meals will be available for pick-up on Thursday at Benton, Central and Lafayette high schools from 10 a.m. to noon. Delivery service is also available for families in need.
To order meals for pick-up or deliver, call the high school closest to your home in the morning from 8-9:30 a.m.
Along with all classes, Warrensburg leaders noted that Adventure Club on Thursday and Friday is canceled. Activities scheduled for Thursday through Sunday are also canceled.