According to USD 259 Supt. Alicia Thompson, education will continue for students through the end of the year, even though schools are closed. Thompson announced the beginning of her education “continuance plan” during a press conference Friday afternoon but consistently reinforced the plan will be further developed during the next couple of weeks.
What they do know for sure is that there will be “multiple” opportunities for children to engage further in learning. For those who do not have access to computers or the internet, paper copies of English Language Arts and Mathematics assignments will be made available. Students who have access to computers and the internet will be able to use several online curriculum programs students are used to using in their classrooms.
While the school will make “opportunities” available for students to engage, Deputy Supt Tiffinie Irving says there will be no specific assignments and no requirement for attendance or participation. However, Thompson pointed out everything is susceptible to change as additional information and requirements are funneled down from the Federal and state governments.
Next week, Thompson said, will be dedicated to planning and filling in the details.
“We don’t have a lot of information as it relates to the online learning or the paper packets or how all of that is going to work right today,” said Thompson, “But we will spend all of next week doing that and we will phase in the communication and make it clear to everyone what we are doing with our continuance learning plans.”
As they develop the plan, Thompson said she will make certain to take into consideration the difference in resources that exist in households.
When asked how she will address the lack of resources in some household, Thompson said, “We know we have students that come from a lot of different places and have different resources and we will make sure that all of the students have access to education resources and that is our commitment.”
To keep the community, family and staff informed, Thompson said she will release formal updates each Tuesday and Friday.
Buildings and Staff
All school buildings will be open next week but will be minimally staffed. Mon., March 23 nurses will be available to return medications to families. At some point, a plan will be announced to allow families to retrieve personal items from the school. Where possible, district employees assigned to the district’s administrative center will work from home.
Free lunches will be available beginning on Mon., March 23 with a two-day interim plan. The permanent lunch plan will begin on Wed., March 25.
On Monday and Tuesday, a group of local restaurants has come together to provide lunches in four locations: Marshall Middle School, Mueller Elementary, Jardine Middle and Truesdell Middle from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Beginning Wednesday, non-perishable lunches will be served at 18 locations across the city from 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Click above for the list.
Lunches are available to all children 18 years and under. They do not have to be USD 259 students and there is no signup, eligibility or paperwork required. Walkup and drive-up service will be available.
According to federal requirements, parents cannot pick up a lunch without the child being present.
Free bus transportation to the school to pick up lunches is available via City of Wichita Transit buses, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To gain free bus transportation, students need to show their student or related identification. Parents can ride the bus with their children free of charge.