DeLaSalle discusses reopening plans for fall

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Posted at 10:05 AM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 11:05:17-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Summer is here, but the fall is at the forefront of many school leaders' minds.

DeLaSalle Education Center Executive Director, Sean Stalling said there are several discussions about the best options for its students and staff.

"We have a couple of options in mind," Stalling said. "One thing we're thinking about is a week on, a week off option, where we rotate half the school in, in order to keep our numbers down, which will us room for social distancing."

While school will still happen every day for each of the 130 students, leaders are looking at a plan that will bring half of the students in for in-person learning, and then rotate each week.

Stalling said one of the things leaders found throughout the pandemic was virtual learning was not working for their students.

"Connectedness is important and I think students really want to be in their physical spaces and be around their teachers," Stalling said. "So that's still an important component to doing education, I think, the right way. To keep it completely virtual would be unhealthy for our kids."

He said they're thinking about ways of doing virtual learning in an alternating fashion that will still keep students connected to the school.

Stalling said one of the biggest challenges was engagement.

"Students would let us know that being out of school was not the most convenient way for them to learn and teachers' feedback as well," Stalling said. "So we would do things like call, we would text, video conferencing, we would do all types of avenues to keep kids connected. It was just very hard."

Stalling said the school's goal is to make it an easier transition for both students and staff amid COVID-19 for the 2020-2021 school year.

"If school has to be that hard - as a teenager, especially teenagers that may be vulnerable anyway when it comes to their education, it's easy to disengage," Stalling said. "As a result, we have secondary students, so they'll drop out, so we don't want that to happen. That would not produce healthy results for the students or the city."

Masks have been purchased for each student for the 2020-2021 school year, they've invested in more hand sanitizers, and also measured the square footage in classrooms to incorporate social distancing.

While DeLaSalle does plan to follow the lead of local and state leaders for reopening school plans, the school will announce their specific plans on July 15.