Lee’s Summit R-7 school board OKs remote learning for grades 4-12

District now has 'school spread' of COVID-19
Lee's Summit school board.jpeg
Posted at 5:58 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 23:31:59-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The majority of students in the Lee's Summit R-7 School District will transition to remote learning beginning next week.

The Board of Education voted at its special meeting Tuesday night – in separate action items – for students in grades four through six and seven through 12 to make the adjustment in response to the community's rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Students will begin virtual learning Nov. 23 and continue through Jan. 25, 2021. The goal, according to district officials, is to transition students back into the classroom in January, when the spring semester begins.

Jacqueline Friedhof, whose son is a junior at Lee's Summit High School, said the threat of COVID-19 "seems much more tangible" than before.

"We really need to think of the consistency for everyone," Friedhof said. "While being completely virtual is not an ideal plan, it is still a plan and still something we know. We know our kids are going to be home every day till whenever that may be."

During the meeting, the Board of Education reported that the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the district has more than doubled each of the past two weeks, while the number of students and staff in quarantine has tripled.

"Until last week we had no school spread that we could say for sure in the classroom that involved kids," Superintendent David Buck said. "That is no longer the case. We have multiple cases."

The board also voted, 5-2, for pre-kindergarten through third-grade students to continue with in-person learning, despite discussion about whether or not to have this group of students also go virtual and return them to the classroom before older students.

However, Friedhof said she doesn't believe there is a "great solution" to combat the virus and keep students learning.

"You are still having to manage your child during the day and still maintain your work," Friedhof said. "I just don’t know how people are doing it. It’s tough."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.