KANSAS CITY METRO (KCTV) – Many schools in the Kansas City area canceled classes this midweek because of mass staff shortages caused by COVID.
Olathe School District and Kansas City, KS, and Public Schools are among the school districts closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Olathe saw about 800 staff members and 1,500 students sick and positive for COVID-19 before pulling the plug. KCK School does not release specific numbers regarding their closures, but their online COVID dashboard — updated last week — shows 227 positive cases among students and 163 positive cases among employees.
“We’ll be watching the numbers over the next few days to see where we’re at with all intents to go to school on Thursday,” Olathe Supt said. Brent Yeager. “But if we get numbers between now and then that show we’re as high or higher than we were last week, then we’ll be forced to make that tough call again.”
School districts will still provide family meals and curbside service even during the holidays.
As COVID cases and sick calls increase this winter, many schools around the country have turned to distance learning to keep children learning. That’s a challenge in Kansas, where only 40 hours of distance learning are allowed. That’s a limitation the governor wants to change.
Governor Laura Kelly said: “Instead of kids learning from a distance, they don’t learn. “And I think they really need to revisit that policy and act quickly, address this issue so that our kids don’t lose days, weeks and months of school.”
The 40-hour distance learning limit was part of last year’s Education Appropriations Bill, which was passed by the Kansas Legislature and signed into law by the governor.
For some school districts that are experiencing massive staff shortages — such as Olathe — their superintendent says that even if they could transition to distance learning, there still aren’t enough healthy employees to do the work. that.
Other schools this week include Knob Noster, St. Joseph, Guadalupe Centers Charter School and Gordon Parks Charter School. The Warrensburg School District, on the Missouri side, is a distance school.