Today, the Kansas State Department of Education released its guidance from the Continuous Learning Task Force. In it, the guidance states that its primary goal was "to meet the immediate need of supporting learning outside of our normal practices." From this, school districts will now be taking steps to develop plans locally to meet the needs of their students and families. However, the guidance states that there are common themes that should be applied to the decisions that school districts need to make in regards to their specific Continuous Learning Plan:
- Focus on essential learning for students - focus on the critical standards
- Be flexible and ready to adapt when needs arise
- Emphasize relationships in this new learning environment
- Encourage use of materials, resources and platforms that are already in use
- Instructional models may be a blending of non-technology and virtual platforms
- Establish a consistent and agreed upon framework of expectations, communication models and practices that all stakeholders share
- Extend grace to all in these unique and trying times
With that said, here is the plan moving forward:
- Beginning Monday, March 23rd, district and building offices will be attended by an administrative assistant during normal hours. However, district and building offices will not be open to the public and entrances will remain locked continuously. Anyone needing assistance from the district or the school buildings are asked to call. Visitors will not be allowed to enter the buildings.
- Certified staff will begin the process of sifting through the documentation from KSDE's Continuous Learning Task Force and collaborating with administration and support staff on devising the specifics of our district Continuous Learning Plan. This work will justifiably take the entire week of March 23-27.
- Classified staff have received their amended assignment of responsibilities, allowing district support to still occur, but to take into account the changing operations of the district and limiting unnecessary responsibilities.
- All school-related extracurricular activities have been cancelled. This includes KSHSAA sponsored spring sports, concerts, parent meetings, Senior Trip, Prom, graduation, etc. Plans are being formulated to somehow recognize graduating Seniors or hold a graduation ceremony at a later date. With Senior Trip cancelled, plans are being developed on how to appropriate fundraising funds. Plans are also being formulated to somehow recognize spring sports participants. With the uncertainty of the current situation, those plans will need to be determined at a much later date.
- On Tuesday, March 24th, and Wednesday, March 25th, plans are tentatively set to begin the rollout of our Continuous Learning Plan. Details and communication will still need to be determined, but it is our intent to utilize these days to achieve a number of items: transfer student property back to students, hand out pertinent academic plans and accompanying information, provide necessary technology, and mitigate connectivity issues at home. With that said, this rollout will be slow and tedious as we will be subject to guidelines provided from local, state and national health agencies dictating the numbers of people who can be in one place at one time. This information will be shared in advance of the rollout date, but specifics are unavailable at this time.
- Beginning Monday, March 30th, it is our intent to begin the district's Continuous Learning Plan, with students performing the aspects set forth for them. Again, this will be a plan that is developed with student needs, family needs, and remaining education in mind. As stated before, we want to focus on essential learning, be flexible, emphasize relationships, and extend grace in these trying times.
- During the remainder of the school year, which will end on May 13th, 2020, food service will be available via drive-thru every weekday 12:00pm-12:30pm at both Quenemo and Melvern school buildings. This FREE food service is open to ANYONE ages 1-18 years old. Children must be in the vehicle to receive food service. Additionally, plans are in the works to begin the inclusion of a breakfast item in the bag for the daily service of lunch. If you, or someone you know, is having difficulty in arriving for this service, please call the school buildings or the district office.
Thank you for your understanding, assistance, communication, and commitment that has been shown by our students, staff, parents, and community during this time. Our community is a special one and that is what is going to carry us through this situation.
The Continuous Learning Task Force Guidance can be found here: https://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/Communications/Publications/Continuous%20Learning%20Task%20Force%20Guidance.pdf?ver=2020-03-18-230653-693