SMSD News: Ready to welcome Shawnee Mission students

Even though the start of school will look very different this year, we are excited to welcome students to the 2020-21 school year in the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD).

Teachers, staff, and administrators have been busy setting up remote learning spaces and classrooms to welcome students next week. Across SMSD, schools have hosted a variety of virtual and drive-through back-to-school events for families. Students received technology, textbooks, supplies, and different materials based on their grade and school. Many of these events also gave teachers and students an opportunity to meet and connect.

Much like in-person learning, students will get to know their teachers and classmates on the first day of remote learning. Educators have prepared games, activities, and interactive icebreakers for the first days of school. Students will set goals for their learning and meet with their teachers and classmates throughout the day during different subjects and periods.

Tuesday, September 8th is the first day of school for students in first through sixth grades, along with 7th, 9th and 12th graders. Click here to see a calendar for all start of school information.


On Wednesday, the district hosted the first interactive community conversation, SMSD Live, where Dr. Mike Fulton, superintendent, was joined by Shelby Rebeck, SMSD director of health services, Dr. Sanmi Areola, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) director, and Elizabeth Holzschuh, JCDHE epidemiologist, to answer questions and provide guidance for what we can do as a community to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff this school year.

Dr. Areola shared that salvia-based tests will be available for students and staff in Johnson County in the near future. This news will be integral to help us move from remote learning to hybrid learning, and their partnership is deeply appreciated. Wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, avoiding large gatherings, and washing hands are all steps we can take to help students safely transition back to the classroom, particularly over this Labor Day holiday weekend. As we all work together to have a successful start to our school year, be #SMSDStrong.