KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Public Schools announced its reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year on Wednesday.
According to a press release, the KCPS Board of Directors approved Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell's recommendation to delay the start of school until after Labor Day, which was recommended to the district by the Kansas City Health Department.
The KCPS school year will now start Sept. 8 instead of Aug. 24 and will begin virtually.
Once COVID-19 cases in the area decrease for 14 days in a row, pre-K through third grade students will return to in-person classes.
The district said that process will be repeated for upper elementary, middle and high school students.
“The decision to reopen our school buildings for in-person classes will be based on data and science,” Bedell said in the release. “We will work closely with public health officials before re-opening any of our school buildings. This process will not follow any predetermined timeline but will rather evolve based on the status of the pandemic in our community. Our response will balance the need to protect public health and provide a public education.”
All grade levels will begin the year with the distance learning model in an online classroom setting.
As pandemic numbers improve and students return to classrooms, other models will be put in place.
Blended learning will allow students to have alternating schedules to attend in-person classes for part of the week and use distance learning for part of the week.
The goal is to move to total in-person learning eventually.
Some parents may opt for their students to participate in virtual learning for the entire semester by enrolling in the Kansas City Virtual Academy. Those students will work on self-paced learning and could be taught by teachers from across the district, not necessarily a home school.
Parents who prefer the virtual academy option must enroll their students by Aug. 5.
More details about KCPS's return to school plan can be found on their website. The KCPS Enrollment Hotline is also open for families with questions by calling 816-418-5277.