SMSD News: Friday, July 24 Update from Superintendent Fulton

Thank you to the staff, students, parents and community members who have been engaged in the planning process to reopen Shawnee Mission schools. So many have taken part in this work to ensure learning continues for our students. It will take on-going collaboration across our community to keep students and staff safe as we begin the new school year.

An overview of our current plans for reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year was provided at the July 22 Special Board of Education meeting.

Here are a few details I want to highlight from the meeting:

First Days of School Adjusted

Shawnee Mission School District students will return to school after Labor Day. District leaders are in the process of determining what the first days of school will be for students, along with changes to staff return dates.

Proposed calendar changes will be brought to the Board of Education to consider during their regular meeting on Monday, July 27, 2020. An agenda for the meeting will be posted to BoardDocs prior to the meeting.

The regular meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. on July 27 and will be held at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current state and local guidelines for group gatherings, seating in the Board Room will be limited to ensure 6-foot spacing. Seating will be available on a first-come basis and masks are required. The meeting will be livestreamed. Opportunity for public comment will be held at the beginning of the meeting and end by 6 p.m.

Learning Models

Next week, families will be asked to submit their selection for the learning model for their child(ren) for the first semester.

The parents of students in Pre-K through 12th grade will choose between the following models:

In-person Learning (Based on COVID-19 conditions in the county, and our ability to ensure the safety of our students and staff) – Students of families selecting In-Person Learning will be assigned to their home school based on their address or approved transfer school. Depending on the status of current COVID-19 cases in Johnson County, students may receive instruction through In-Person Learning, Hybrid learning, or Remote Learning.

Remote Learning (Full-time Online for First Semester) – Students will be assigned to a Remote Learning Shawnee Mission School District teacher and will remain in that class for the semester. Enrollment at the home school will remain intact. Students will not attend in person anytime throughout the semester.

In each scenario, there will be assessments, grades, attendance, and regular contact with teachers. After families select their scenario, each student will be required to remain within that option for the rest of the semester.

Draft plans for the reopening of schools can be read here.

Operations and Input

Beyond the classroom, we also continue to develop our operational plans. At the July 22 meeting, we heard updates on how we will address health and safety, facilities, activities, transportation food services, and information and communication technologies.

There is much to consider as we continue planning. As I shared with Board members on July 22, input from families, students, teachers, staff, and community members since this spring has informed all of our planning and continues to be essential. Our reopening plan is a living document we must continuously improve.

Everything we do comes back to our mission, and our objective that each student will have a personalized learning plan that will prepare them for college and careers with the interpersonal skills they need for life success. We are learning a lot this year, and there will be many challenges. The goal of this planning process is to make sure every single child is learning and growing. Thank you to everyone in our community for your patience and support for the Shawnee Mission School District.