SMSD News: COVID-19 update – keeping students and staff safe

The Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) continues its work to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure all students continue to learn, while keeping students and staff safe.

Vaccination Update

We are grateful to all in our community who are collaborating to ensure staff can get vaccinated. The process for vaccine distribution in Shawnee Mission and in Johnson County began with staff who provide health services. SMSD also provided vaccines to staff who work directly with students who are unable to consistently mask (including those who interact with students during lunch), individuals with Americans with Disabilities accommodations on file related to COVID-19, and those staff who are age 65 and older.

 The district is continuing to move through staff, by age, until all staff are vaccinated. Fortunately, vaccination rates for staff are being completed at a rate much higher than previously anticipated. The district anticipates that all staff will have received the opportunity to receive their first vaccine dose by the  middle of March.

 Learning Mode Update

 Shawnee Mission secondary schools are preparing for a change in learning later this month.

 On March 22,  secondary students are scheduled to return to full in-person learning. Students who chose the remote learning model in August will remain remote. Updated mitigation plans have been shared with each secondary school community, outlining multiple guidelines and procedures that will be followed at the middle and high school level. District leaders have stressed multiple times that while schools will do everything possible to ensure social distancing, three feet of social distancing cannot be guaranteed at all times in this in-person model.

 Elementary students whose families selected in-person learning will continue in-person learning, as they have been since October. The district continues to work with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and seek guidance on in-person learning for all students.

 Recently, the district has also announced that facility rentals will open up to the community. Outdoor facility rentals started on March 1, 2021. Indoor facilities rentals will start on March 22, 2021.

 We thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to ensure vaccines are distributed to staff, to develop plans for students to return to on-site learning, and to ensure that learning continues for each Shawnee Mission student this year.