UPDATE: Joplin School Board votes to pass original back to school plan

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin Schools Board of Education held a special meeting tonight, regarding the start of the school year and the re-entry plan.

The special board meeting Thursday night had two items on the table: a change to the start date for school, and the re-entry plan to get back to school. The board unanimously approved moving the start of school to Monday, August 24th. The original start date was August 13th.

Then came the re-entry plan, which failed to pass at Tuesday night’s board meeting. The issues surrounded the scheduling for the high school; the plan calls for A-B days – where students with last names A-K would be in class on one day, and L-Z in class the other. That plan passed with 4 in favor, and 3 against. Sharrock Dermott says “I think we’re going to revisit this issue constantly, every day we’re going to see how this plan is implemented and it’s impact on students, educationally, health wise, everything.”

Board President Sharrock Dermott says he knows this isn’t a perfect plan, but it’s the best plan to keep the students safe. “I respect that this is going to create problems in our community, how do we make sure that our students are doing what they should be doing the day, I think that the belief of our administration is that these are more mature students, they’re 14-18 years of age, we hope that they can do what they’re supposed to be doing on their off day.”

Dermott says he knows it’s still important to get the high school students back in class five days a week. “I know that we’re frustrating some parents tonight, some guardians, and, I’m sorry, and I’m committed to doing our very best to get those kids back in school every day of the week, because we all believe that creates the best learning position that we can present for our kids.”

In terms of the school start date change, the district cited the recent rise in COVID cases in the area, and also wanting to provide teachers some additional professional development days to prepare for the upcoming school year.



UPDATE: The Joplin School Board voted to pass it’s back to school plan. It includes frequent disinfecting and a mask requirement.

It also includes a plan to have High School students attend classes on alternating days.

This does *not* change the revised start date. School will still be delayed to Monday, August 24th.



Developing news out of Joplin. During a special meeting, the Joplin School Board voted to delay the start of the school year until Monday, August 24, 2020. It was originally scheduled to start on August 13.

The district cited the recent rise in COVID-19 cases as the primary factor. They also highlighted the need to give teachers a few more professional development days to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Later tonight the board will also vote again on a plan to cover topics such as sanitation and what days certain students will have in-person classes. We’ll have the results of that vote tonight on KOAM News.

(This is a developing story and will be updated as details are released)