KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It's been a difficult 2020 calendar year for Kansas City, Missouri, Public Schools as it prepares for a 2020-2021 school year unlike any other.
KCPS has a special Board of Education meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. with a reopening discussion on the agenda, among other items.
According to Dr. Lateshia Woodley of KCPS, the pandemic has presented its fair share of challenges.
"With the isolation of the pandemic, we don't have that luxury of having people to be able to, you know, look into the eyes of a child and say, hey, you know that something must be going on, and you'll be able to dig a little deeper," Woodley said.
She added that KCPS has also put telehealth checks and no-contact wellness checks into place to give families and students much-needed resources.
"We have a protocol in place to support, but we’re worried about the families that are struggling. That are dealing with issues, maybe domestic violence, maybe child abuse. Some other issues that we are not aware of. And so that causes, it causes me to stay up at night concerned about our babies that we don't know that need our support," Woodley said.
As the national and local conversation on how to safely reopen schools continues, Woodley said KCPS has engaged on the topic for months leading up to Wednesday's meeting.
"What I can tell you is we have been meeting for months now developing our re-entry plan and really looking at how do we best meet the needs of our staff and keeping our staff safe. How do we best meet the needs of students and families within our community," she said. "Going over every indicator, looking at how can we be as equitable as we can and our approach to supporting our students and families during this time. So this is a very difficult decision for our school board and our superintendent to make right now because we're not going to be able to make 100 percent of people happy."
The meeting will be held virtually.