Local districts may be impacted by new law

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A couple of the local school districts will have to make adjustments as a result of a bill that requires schools to offer full-time in-person classes beginning March 31.

The bill was passed in both chambers of the Kansas Legislature this week. The office of Gov. Laura Kelly has indicated she will sign the bill into law.

The bill, which is known as Senate Bill No. 63, requires school districts to offer a full-time in-person attendance option for every student in kindergarten through the 12th grade for the remainder of the school year beginning March 31.

Local school districts already offer in-person classes. But the Lansing and Basehor-Linwood school districts have been including remote instruction days in their schedules for in-person classes.

Lansing students enrolled in in-person classes generally have a remote instruction day each Friday.

Lansing Superintendent Dan Wessel said it is his understanding that the bill requires the district to offer in-person learning for any day remote instruction is provided.

He said Lansing school board members will discuss how the district will move to a full-time schedule for in-person instruction.

But the school board is not scheduled to meet again until April 12.

“We’ll have a plan that our board will be taking action on that day,” he said.

Wessel said Friday of next week, April 2, is already scheduled to be a day off for students.

He said district officials will have to figure out what they are going to do for April 9, which is the following Friday.

Basehor-Linwood Superintendent David Howard said his district has been having one remote only day every other week.

“We only have four left,” he said.

He said Basehor-Linwood schools will do away with these remote only days to comply with law.

He said district officials had planned to use the two remote learning days in April to administer state assessments to students who are receiving only remote instruction. He said district officials will have to figure out another way to administer assessments to these students.

Jake Potter, director of public relations for Leavenworth public schools, said in an email that the law will not impact the Leavenworth school system because it has been offering full-time in-person instruction since October.

Easton Superintendent Tim Beying said he does not believe the law will impact the Easton public schools.

“We have been very fortunate to be able to offer our students in-person learning all school-year long,” he said in an email.

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