Kansas Governor cancels K-12 in-person classes for rest of school year

school desks

TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelley, along with other Kansas officials, announce they are ordering all K-12 schools in Kansas to close buildings and cease in-person instruction for the duration of the 2019-2020 season. Schools will be working to implement learning plans for students.

Kelly’s Tuesday afternoon announcement came as several school districts already had extended spring breaks and colleges and universities had moved to online instruction for the rest of the school year.

Kansas has at least 18 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to spread in the state, officials said.

Release from the Kansas State Department of Education:

“Task Force devising plan for Continuous Learning

Unprecedented circumstances that threaten the safety of our students and the professionals who work with them every day require swift, thoughtful and coordinated action. On Tuesday, March 17, Gov. Laura Kelly announced that school buildings across the state must be closed for the duration of this school year for the purpose of general student and staff attendance. However, learning will continue for Kansas students.

A 25-member task force comprised of many of the state’s top educators in Kansas continues working to develop plans for Continuous Learning. The task force will deliver their recommendations to Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson by Wednesday evening.

Kansas education is among the finest in the country. Closing classrooms and moving to a Continuous Learning plan can’t begin to replicate our state’s education structure as we know it, but it can help ensure strategies that will provide a bridge back to the world-class learning our students benefit from today.

Essential staff members – as determined by local district officials – may be needed through Friday, March 20, to assess and prepare for facility maintenance. While schools are closed, administrative offices and support facilities may remain open as needed.

Once buildings are thoroughly sanitized, they will be able to reopen for small groups of school personnel to implement a plan for Continuous Learning.

We realize this is a difficult time, but Kansans always have persevered – and we will continue to do so. We will work together to get through this, and we will overcome this challenge and emerge stronger.”