Special thanks to:
Our Task Force-consisting of administrators, department directors, and teachers
To those who provided valuable input through our Parent & Staff Surveys
Guidance from State & Local Health Agencies
Our Kingston K-14 School Board for their support
Dear Kingston K-14 Families,
The top priority for the Kingston K-14 School District is the safety of our students, staff, and community. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-2020 school year ended abruptly and not the way we wanted. When our schools open this fall, they will look a little different.
Every week, we learn more about COVID from our health officials. We know this virus is real. It’s in our communities, and it may impact our schools. We also know the value of in-person learning and understand that being out of school for extended periods can have a detrimental impact on students’ social and emotional well-being.
Over the past few weeks, our task force has been grappling with big questions: How do we bring kids safely back to school? How do we make sure our staff is cared for? How do we prepare for short- and long-term closures that may be required as the COVID situation continues to evolve?
As part of the planning process, we gathered feedback from families about their preferred way to return to school in the fall. There was overwhelming support for a return to in-person instruction. Since the beginning of this pandemic, Kingston K-14 School District has been monitoring this situation very closely and taking all possible precautions to keep our students and employees from exposure to this virus. District administration has been in contact with local and state officials, the Washington County Health Department, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). We have also continued to monitor the websites and press releases of the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to be as preventative and educated on a safe return to school as possible.
That said, we realize not all families will be comfortable sending their student(s) back to the classroom just yet. With this understanding, our task force developed a Return to School Plan that respects and honors the individual needs of each family. Through many hours of planning and researching, we are carefully planning a return to school for the 2020-2021 school year while doing what we can to lower the risk of infection to any of our students and staff.
As parents and guardians, you can choose the right learning method for your child(ren).
OPTION 1: In-Person Classroom Learning with added precautions and safety protocols designed to limit exposure and transmission of COVID-19.
OPTION 2: 100% Virtual/Online Learning, we are tentatively looking at providing up to 4 hours of seat time. Depending on staffing, this could be offered during the school day in a small group setting with a teacher or 2 days of after-school learning for 2 hours each day. Parents will need to provide transportation to and from school. Parents can opt-out of this option after the first quarter for grades K-5 and after the first semester for 6-12.
This plan could change at any time between now and the start of school based on community spread and recommendations by state and local health officials. The document that follows provides more detail on each of the learning options. (Prior to completing this form, please see page 22 for more details on the virtual learning option.)
If you are selecting the virtual/online option, we are asking that you complete the following form for each of your children by August 10th:
Please complete a separate form for each of your children who will be enrolled in our virtual program.
This date is important as it allows teachers and administrators to appropriately plan for classes, bus routes, technology needs, and all the other behind-the-scenes work required to provide a quality educational experience.
I want to acknowledge the work of the task force, educators, and health experts who have spent long hours discussing the tough questions and planning for what-ifs. I am also grateful to our families and community for your patience and understanding as we work together through this unprecedented planning-and-preparation challenge. We will do everything possible to support our families and make sure your child’s needs are met. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Dr. Lee Ann Wallace