Leavenworth moves to full in-person schedule
The Leavenworth Board of Education is allowing all grade levels to return to in-person classes five days a week.
Students who have signed up for in-person classes have been operating on what is known as a hybrid schedule in which they alternate between in-person classes and remote instruction. The hybrid schedule was implemented to limit the number of students who are in school buildings at any one time.
Earlier this month, school board members voted to allow elementary students to start attending in-person classes five days a week.
And board members voted Monday to phase-in in-person classes five days a week for the remaining grade levels.
This “all-in” change, as it is called by Superintendent Mike Roth, will apply to students who are signed up for in-person classes. Students who are signed up for only remote learning will continue to receive remote instruction.
Roth said students will continue to be required to wear masks in school. He said school officials are taking measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. But he said there still will be a risk of exposure which can result in quarantine.
On Thursday, students in grades five, seven, nine and 12 will begin attending in-person classes five days a week. Students in grades six and eight will begin their “all-in” schedule on Tuesday. Students in grades 10 and 11 will begin the “all-in” schedule Oct. 26, which also marks the beginning of the second quarter of the school year.
The phase-in schedule was unanimously approved Monday by school board members.
The vote came after Leavenworth High School Principal Christy Jones provided board members information about student performance and attendance while the hybrid schedule has been in place.
“Our kids are struggling,” she said.
Jones said Leavenworth High School currently has 938 students signed up for in-person instruction. She said 45% of them have failing grades in one or more of their classes.
“So when we look at that, we know what we’re doing is not working,” she said.
Jones said Leavenworth High School has 319 students who are receiving only remote instruction. She said 65% of them have failing grades in one or more classes.
Jones said there also are Leavenworth High School students who are struggling to make it into the school building for classes as well as participating in online instruction.
Jones said she has allowed students who were signed up for remote instruction to attend in-person classes at the high school.
Roth said the switch from remote instruction to in-person classes is only being allowed at Leavenworth High School. He said this is not being allowed at other school buildings in the district because of staffing.
Parents of students who are signed up for in-person instruction do have the option of switching their children to remote instruction, according to Jake Potter, director of public relations for the school district.
At the conclusion of Monday’s meeting, board member Mike Powell said the decision to phase-in the “all-in” schedule was something board members took very seriously.
He said board members balanced the need for students to return to school with the risks to students, staff members and the community.
“We are in fact following the science,” he said.
Powell said the school district impacts the community and students not being in school impacts the community. He said the decision made Monday will have a fundamental impact on the community.
In other business
The Leavenworth Board of Education:
• Received a report about enrollment for the current school year.
The student headcount is down by 180 compared to the last school year, according to Amy Sloan, executive director of human resources and support services.
• Approved the purchase of a Toro Workman HDX utility cart in the amount of $25,043.
• Approved the purchase of a Toro Sand Pro in the amount of $26,004.
• Approved the purchase of a 2021 Ford Transit van in the amount of $33,712.
• Approved the purchase of 1,687 protective shells for Chromebook computers in the amount of $47,236. Board members also approved the purchase of 1,920 protective sleeves for Chromebook computers in the amount of $44,160.