Joplin schools to close in response to COVID-19 through April 3

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JOPLIN, Mo. – Martin Luther, Thomas Jefferson, College Heights, Joplin Schools, Webb City, Diamond, Avilla, Sarcoxie, Jasper, Carl Junction and Carthage schools met with officials from the Jasper County Health Department and have agreed to close schools now until April 3rd. We’ll have more on KOAM news tonight.

Release from Joplin Schools:

JOPLIN MO, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 –  After consultation with the Jasper County Health Department, Joplin Schools will join the majority of other public schools in our area in closing now through April 3 in an effort to help isolate the spread of COVID-19. This is a decision that was not taken lightly. However, we feel it is the best option at this point to do our part in supporting the healthcare system in “flattening the curve” while also protecting the health of students and employees.

This decision creates many other decisions that will need to be made over the coming days. Please note, we are working diligently to determine answers to questions, and are committed to communicating with you as soon as those decisions are made.

The District is committed to three main pieces throughout this situation. We will have more to come on each of these, but below we have added some district-specific information regarding these topics.

  • Meal Service:The District will be providing meal service in some capacity after Spring Break. We are working with our Food Service department to determine what options we will be providing. Stay tuned for additional information.
  • Childcare: The District understands that childcare is essential for many families at this time; however, our goal is to “flatten the curve” and provide a balanced approach to supporting the healthcare system while also protecting students and staff.  To that end, we are in discussion with healthcare providers to determine needs and logistically feasible ways that Joplin Schools may be able to support our community.
  • Virtual and/or printed material-based learning opportunities.District plans will be communicated over the next week. We understand that school can not be replicated, but our district will be working on resources to support students in their learning while we are closed.

We are certainly treading through uncharted waters right now, and we are aware of the constraints this places on our families, students and employees. Specifically, we want to send a shout out to the class of 2020 who are in their senior year of high school. We are keeping you and your future in mind as we navigate decisions.

As was stated by a fellow superintendent in another state, when this is all over, we won’t know if we overreacted and did too much. However, we are certain that we will know if we did not do enough. Thank you in advance for your support as we navigate this situation.