State leaders, educators discuss safety and logistics of teaching during COVID-19

Gov. Laura Kelly and other state leaders met with educators across Kansas to discuss the shortfalls and successes of teaching during COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, and to consider support mechanisms educators will need to continue teaching through the pandemic. Above Elizabeth Peters, Rising Star Elementary Teacher, connects with her 3rd grade students. Photo credit Greg Peters.

In a roundtable conversation with Gov. Laura Kelly, Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers and Rep. Cindy Holscher, educators across the state of Kansas outlined the shortfalls and successes of the 2019-2020 academic year and discussed support mechanisms they’ll need to continue teaching through the pandemic.

In March, Kansas was the first state in the country to shift all K-12 schools online as the COVID-19 crisis escalated. Kendra Preston, a middle school teacher in the DeSoto School District, said the decisive action allowed educators to act with certainty as they prepared for online instruction.

“Yes, it was a challenge, but it allowed districts and teachers to come together and make a plan to move forward,” Preston said. “We were able to brainstorm and collaborate and put forth what we believe was the best plan of action for our students for an extended period of time instead of going week by week.”