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Coronavirus (COVID-19)
School Year Update

Derby Public Schools is providing updates and a variety of resources for our families and staff during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We will continue to communicate with families and staff via Skylert, our mass notification tool, and post on www.derbyschools.com. Read previous updates HERE.

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June 30, 2020

Dear Families and Staff,

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer with family and friends. While we know there is still over a month left of summer break, we know there are many questions about the upcoming school year. In my last message sent to you on May 20, it was shared that we were already planning for Fall 2020. I would like to share an update on what to anticipate over the next few weeks as we prepare for the new school year.
What Will School Look Like?

School districts across the state will be receiving guidance from the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) by mid-July. Derby Public Schools will adapt as necessary and merge our Continuous Learning Task Force recommendations with the state’s guidance. Our Task Force has been meeting to discuss options and review feedback from families, students and staff. I’d like to say THANK YOU to the individuals who are working throughout their summer break to ensure we will have meaningful learning experiences while always keeping safety as our top priority.

We will bring our proposed plans to our Board of Education on July 27. If our school’s normal environment has to be modified, other possible learning environment options may include in-person, online or hybrid model (a combination of in-person, online and independent work). When additional information that affects what the next school year is available after this Board of Education meeting, we will update families and staff via our website, social media and Skylert (our mass notification tool).

We plan to welcome back students on August 12 (20-21 school year calendar HERE). We know that the future impact of COVID-19 is unpredictable and requires that we plan for multiple scenarios. I’d like to share a few brief highlights on possible learning models and a general back to school timeline below. Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEPs) and other educational support plans will receive appropriate accommodations regardless of the learning environment we are in. Students will also have grading expectations for any of the possible learning models. Please know that more details will be available in the coming weeks.


Possible Learning Models

In-Person Learning
We are excited to see our students and staff back in our buildings! Our hope is to be able to offer an in-person option of school this fall. Students who attend in-person will have additional COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Remote Learning Environment (Online-Only Instruction)
It is possible that online-only instruction by Derby Public Schools staff may be offered as a learning option to families who elect to learn from home. An online-only instruction program would have these key elements:
• Instruction by certified Derby Public Schools teachers
• Mirror Derby Public Schools curriculum and standards
• Include live instruction with a mix of online activities, lessons and assessments

Please note:
Online instruction will also be offered to all enrolled students at times when school is not able to take place in person due to COVID-19 circumstances.

Hybrid Learning (a combination of in-person and online)
If needed at any point, Derby Public Schools may adopt a hybrid learning model. Hybrid learning would only apply to students who elected to enroll in the traditional, in-person school (not online-only). Hybrid instructional schedules would have some in-person instruction and some online live instruction and assignments for students in a given week.

A survey will be sent to families in July to gain information on any preferences that may be offered regarding the above learning model options. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the local health department and KSDE will continue to guide our planning.

General Back to School Timeline
Here are dates to keep in mind leading up to the first day of school. Updates will be provided as we begin to see how the 2020-21 school year looks for our families and staff.
• July 9: Enrollment Update in mailboxes (approximate date). View HERE. Please know the information in this Enrollment Update is applicable no matter what type of setting we may be in this school year.
• July 14-15: State Board of Education to receive KSDE Guidance for Schools
• July 16: Kansas State Department of Education releases plan; district leadership will receive detailed training on the recommendations.
• July 16-24: Derby Public Schools will modify plans to align with KSDE guidance.
• July 27: Present school year plans to the Board of Education (meeting is 6:30PM at Derby North Middle School). Families and staff will receive an update via Skylert (mass notification tool) on school year plans later this week.
• Aug. 6: Middle School Back to School Night, 5:30PM-7:30PM
• Aug. 10: Elementary Back to School Night, 5:30PM-7:30PM
• Aug. 12: First day of school (see 20-21 student calendar HERE)
• Aug. 13: Derby High School Back to School Night, 5:30PM-7:30PM

We realize families and staff will be looking for information regarding transportation, food service, before and after school programs, and much more. These topics and more will be covered after our plans are presented to the Board of Education on July 27. Although there are some unknowns, we are looking forward to another amazing year of accomplishments and will be ready to adapt to changes that come our way. I share my appreciation to all of our stakeholders for your continued flexibility, engagement and partnership in our students’ educational journeys.


Sincerely,
Heather Bohaty
Superintendent of Schools

 

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