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New Date for Start of School Year

July 27, 2020

USD 232 Families:

The Board of Education took action during a special meeting on Monday, July 27, to delay the start of the 2020-21 school year until Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

It is important to emphasize the Board only decided the date for the first day of school. District administration is developing options for a revised school year calendar to be considered by the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting on August 3. Additionally, the Board did not make a decision on July 27 regarding the type of learning environment (on-site, hybrid, or remote) with which to begin the new academic year. Discussion on that topic will continue at the meeting on August 3.

Background
The Board of Education and administration heard from many parents and staff members over the last several days regarding the start of the school year expressing support for a delayed start, as well as support for keeping the current calendar in place. Parents and staff also expressed thoughts and concerns regarding the on-site, hybrid, and remote learning environments.

On Monday, July 20, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced an executive order (No. 20-58) that would have delayed the school year for all districts in the state. On Wednesday, July 22, the Kansas State Board of Education did not affirm the Governor’s order delaying the school year, leaving the decision to local Boards of Education. However, a separate executive order from the Governor (No. 20-59), issued on July 20, places new requirements on all schools regarding masks or other face coverings, social distancing, hand sanitizer, and temperature checks.

Delaying the first day of school allows state and county health experts additional time to update data surrounding the community spread of COVID-19. Should the county begin seeing a decrease in cases over the next few weeks, the extra time could maximize any possibility of having on-site instruction. The later start date will also provide schools and teachers time for professional development training to prepare for three learning environments and the additional requirements mandated by the Governor’s executive order.

Considering the feedback from the school community, information from state and county health experts, and in light of the additional planning required, the Board approved the district’s recommendation to delay the start of school until September 8.

New Enrollment Dates Announced
Although a revised school year calendar is still being developed, the district is announcing August 10 and 11 as enrollment dates for the new academic year. District administration will present revised calendar options to the Board of Education for its consideration at its regularly scheduled meeting on August 3. An approved calendar and additional enrollment information will be shared with families and staff on Tuesday, August 4.

Extension of Summer Curbside Meals Program
Because the first day of school is now delayed, the summer curbside meal program has been extended. Meals will continue to be available on Mondays and Wednesdays through August 26, 2020.

On Mondays, children will receive four (4) meals: 

  • two (2) breakfasts and 
  • two (2) lunches 

 

On Wednesdays, children will receive six (6) meals: 

  • three (3) breakfasts and 
  • three (3) lunches

Meal pick-up locations and times are listed below.

  • De Soto High School –11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (main drive-thru location)
  • Clearview City, De Soto – 10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
  • Prospector’s Point, De Soto –11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.  
  • Woodland Townhomes, Shawnee– 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 m. (walk up only; no drive-thru service)

De Soto High School will serve as the main meal distribution location with drive-through service. A limited number of meals will be available at each of the mobile sites. The meals will be available for free to children ages 1 to 18, regardless of what school they attend. No paperwork is required.