COVID-19 Crisis: Kelly shuts down school buildings for duration of school year; education of students to continue

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In an unprecedented move, Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday announced that Kansas schools will be closed for the duration of the school year because of the COVID-19 outbreak. But Kelly and Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson emphasized that learning will continue via instruction to students online, in small groups or both.

An expert task force is set to unveil recommendations Wednesday on delivering education to students while school buildings remain closed.

KASB President Shannon Kimball, of the Lawrence USD 497 school board, was part of the news conference and said later, “We are all going to have to work through this time together. I’m heartened that KASB will be a resource for all of us to continue to support us in figuring out to how to navigate this situation.”

Kimball said school leaders will work on finding the best way to continue teaching students and making sure students in poverty or who don’t have computer access are supported.

The Continuous Learning Task Force will provide guidelines for continuous learning for students as they stay home. Local school districts will decide how to proceed from there.