State Board of Education to consider school reopening guidance plan

A plan to help districts reopen school buildings will be presented to the State Board of Education on Tuesday. The board will act on the “Navigating Change 2020” guidance document on Wednesday.

Districts have been working this spring and summer on reopening schools after switching to mostly online learning in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Navigating Change 2020” is meant to help districts reopen buildings safely while providing strong learning environments. More than 1,000 Kansans, including teachers, parents, students, health officials, school board members, and others worked on the set of recommendations. Start-of-school plans will be decided at the local level with the state document serving as guidance.

Education leaders have said that because of COVID-19, most districts will provide instruction in schools, online and a combination of both. Because of the increase in COVID-19 cases, it is expected schools may go back and forth between closing and reopening based on local disease levels.

In other business, the board will:

— Hear from the Beloit and Wellington school districts on successes of their continuous learning plans;

— Announce the Apollo Phase II participants in the Kansans Can School Redesign program;

— Consider presentation of Gemini II and Apollo I schools’ redesign plans for acceptance and launch;

— Discuss and act on budget recommendations for the next fiscal year.

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