Thursday, March 11, 2021

Kansas Says "Get Your Ass Back In The Class - And Karen - You're On Your Own...,"

fox4kc  |  A big change is coming for students this fall in one of the metro’s largest school districts.

Shawnee Mission will not offer a remote learning option, so students will have to attend in-person or transfer elsewhere.

The news is welcomed by parents who’ve fought for full in-person learning to know remote school won’t even be on the table come fall. But no one can predict what the pandemic will be like in August, and that’s why other families are frustrated they may have to change schools to stay safe.

Remote learning are two words no one was ready for this time last year.

“It was kind of a shock, but you know I’ve got two children and have a compromised immune system so completely understood and supported that decision,” said Shawnee Mission School District parent Beth Koon.

With her family’s health concerns, Koon decided the best thing was to continue remote learning through Shawnee Mission Schools this year.

“That was just a very easy decision for us to decide to stay home with the kids and stay safe,” Koon said.

Koon said her kids are excelling in online classes. So she was stunned to see a letter from SMSD Tuesday, saying remote learning won’t be available next school year.

“To presume that the pandemic is over, there’s no spread and that adults or families like mine with immune compromised family members, who do need to make these decisions to isolate, to stay safe, to pull that rug out from under us I felt was very alarming,” Koon said.

While the district knows some kids have thrived in remote learning, others have struggled, and it wants to offer the best in-person experience possible. In a letter to parents, the district wrote, “Absent a pandemic, there is no legal way to continue providing the remote learning option.”

“We may still be in the pandemic to some degree. We won’t have kids vaccinated, but the changes that the governor had authority to put in place and that the Kansas Department of Education had authority to put in place, those will have expired and there’s no indication those will be renewed,” said David Smith, a SMSD spokesperson.