How KCPS is mitigating the spread of COVID-19 as students return to classrooms

KCPS covid desk shields.jpg
Posted at 6:44 AM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 07:44:51-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Students at Kansas City, Missouri, Public Schools will return to in-person learning Monday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced leaders to close schools almost exactly one year ago.

Monday, students in pre-kindergarten through third grade and a select number of older special education and English language learner students will attend school in a classroom under the district’s hybrid reopening model approved last month.

The district began preparing for this day last summer. Director of Custodial Services Lazell Ofield said his team deep cleaned all 38 buildings during the summer.

So far this school year, the district has implemented several procedures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 when students return.

“I am extremely confident we have all the mitigation in place so that we can receive our students in person and provide a safe learning environment for them,” Ofield said. “I am excited to see them on March 15 and we’re ready.”

Here are some of the measures the district has taken:

  • Digital thermometers at school entrances read everyone’s temperature as they enter the building. Anyone with a high temperature goes to an isolation room where the nurse takes them through a series of protocols.
  • Desk shields surround three sides of each student’s desk. The desks are six feet apart.
  • Teachers have a shield on their desks as well.
  • Each classroom now has a paper towel dispenser and disinfectant spray. Students are required to wipe down their desks before leaving the classroom.
  • Each classroom also now has a hand sanitizer dispenser.
  • Water fountains are now hydration stations. The district will provide each student with a reusable water bottle. They can refill the bottle at a water fountain, but cannot drink directly from the fountain.
  • One-way stickers direct traffic in school hallways.
  • Social distancing stickers on the floor encourage students to remain six feet apart from one another.
  • Many schools are not using lockers in order to keep students socially distant.