KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- During this pandemic, KCTV5 News has reported on local district's investment in virtual learning.
We wanted to know how that investment will shape our children’s future.
“Now that all of our students have devices and we have extensive experience with remote learning that does give us options,” said Shawnee Mission School District Chief Communications Officer David Smith.
Smith says plans at the Shawnee Mission School District, or SMSD, are not as concrete as other districts in the Kansas City metro. He says the district will weigh a few factors before deciding if students should learn virtually or get a snow day.
One of those factors is access to power, not only in the district but across the metro.
“We have teachers that live across the metro area, so if we have a number of teachers living in an area that doesn’t have power that would impact their ability to work remotely with their kids,” Smith said. “We’ll have to look at all of those things. It does add additional possibilities, but also additional complications.”
Blue Springs School District recently shared this plan with students and their families:
In the event of a snow day, students will continue learning at home.
Pre-K through second-grade students will bring home educational packets today. These packets should be saved for use during a snow day. The packets cover academic goals for the first semester. Distance learners will be contacted by their teacher with further instructions.
Third through Twelfth-grade students will be learning virtually on snow days. There will be a few exceptions, and those students will receive educational packets. Snow days will be opportunities for independent learning for our in-person and BSSD distance learning students. Teachers will be making assignments as well as working with distance learning students.
Elementary-aged students who attend Prime Time on snow days will be expected to bring their packets or devices to Prime Time. The Prime Time staff members will assist students in completing their snow day assignments.
Lee’s Summit said it’s finalizing plans on the future of snow days with senior leadership later this week.
Kansas City, Kansas, and North Kansas City Schools said it will shift to virtual learning any time school is cancelled due to inclement weather or other unforeseen reasons.
Hickman Mills said it has similar plans once students return to in-person learning.
The Olathe School District said it is working on plans that could make traditional snow days melt away.
Shawnee Mission said virtual learning during inclement weather is a possibility, but they will keep a close eye on power throughout the area.
Kansas City Public Schools sent KCTV5 News a statement on the future of their snow days.
Once we begin to return to in-person classes, our intention is for students to continue learning at home during days when school buildings need to be closed due to winter weather. Instead of canceling classes, we will inform students, parents/guardians and staff that learning will happen virtually. Though the students may disagree, we see this as a long-term gain that we are taking away from this crazy year of COVID-19.