Fort Scott school board gives parents options for upcoming school year

The Fort Scott School Board Gets Ready To Vote

FORT SCOTT, Kan. – Social distancing measures were in place at the Fort Scott High School gym Thursday night, but they weren’t keeping away parents and Bourbon County business leaders who wanted to speak to the school board and hear from the school board before a decision was made about how kids will learn during the upcoming school year.

The executive director of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce was there to express concerns of local employers.

“They’ve already lost employees since the pandemic began in March due to the need to be with their children at the end of the school year and through the summer. And they’re concerned about further loss of employees depending on what model of returning to school is chosen,” said the chamber’s executive director, Lindsay Madison.

The school board discussed three options: having kids return to class five days a week, a combination of in-school learning and at-home learning, and learning 100% from home.

Parents also addressed the school board, letting them know what works best for their kids.

“I have a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old. They’re both my daughters and they go to this school. And I have one that would relish being online only. She loves it. She’s self motivated. You can sit her down. She’d get everything done without question. The 14-year-old, my second child, she’s probably not going to be able to do that. She struggles with online learning. She’s a tactile learner. She’s brilliant but needs that socialization,” said a local mother as she addressed the school board.

After hearing from the community and discussing details behind the education options, the board ultimately voted 4 to 3 to go with two of the three options. They chose five days a week in-school learning, but also gave parents the option to have their kids learn from home 100% of the time as well.

“With the level of community spread that we have right now, we feel like on-site, five days a week would be a good option for our families, and the remote option is always going to be there for families that would choose that,” said Superintendent Ted Hessong.

The school year in Fort Scott has been pushed back to September 9th. The school board would like parents to make a decision on in-school or at-home learning by August 14th.