2020-2021 School Options

2020-2021 School Options
Posted on 07/13/2020
2020-2021 School Options

Dear District Families,

The Blue Springs School District remains steadfast in our commitment to providing education with distinction while maintaining the safest possible environment. The Board of Education and district leaders have been working tirelessly on plans for the 2020-2021 school year. We want to thank the parents, staff, and community volunteers who served on various reopening task forces for their invaluable insight and guidance. At this time, thanks to the recommendations and work of the task forces, we have two options for the new school year, In-Person School and BSSD Distance Learning. At the end of this email, you will be asked to select which of these educational options your student will be pursuing in the fall. If you have multiple students in the district, you may choose different educational options for each student.

This pandemic has challenged all of us in different ways, but as we continue to prove, we are always stronger together. No matter the educational option you choose for the coming year, please remember that you and your student(s) are now, and will continue to be, an important part of our BSSD family. We will get through this together.

In-Person School will take place at school in a traditional classroom environment. The requirements and restrictions of In-Person School will be fluid based on city, county, and state regulations. If our district does not have mandated restrictions, the following precautions will be put in place: Hand washing and hygiene will be enforced, and hand sanitizer will be readily available and encouraged. Daily wellness checks (teacher observations and verbal check-ins with students about signs and symptoms of COVID-19) will occur. Face masks are mandatory in the classroom and required when moving through the school (arrival, dismissal, passing time, bathroom breaks, transitioning to a special class such as P.E., etc.) Social distancing will be practiced when possible, but we know it is not always feasible with various student populations and age groups. Large gatherings like assemblies, walk-a-thons, and Special Person’s Day will be canceled. No visitors or lunch guests will be allowed. Recess will take place, but the use of equipment may be prohibited. School buses will be available for those who need it. Masks will be mandatory on buses.

Please keep in mind that mandated social distancing restrictions may not allow for our district to host school Monday-Friday for every student. Our buildings were not designed to hold 20-30 students in a classroom seated six feet apart. If social distancing is mandated and over 70% of our student population opts to return to In-Person School, we will be forced to look at alternate plans that allow for fewer students in the building each day.

If in-person school is not the right choice for your family, the Blue Springs School District is offering BSSD Distance Learning to allow students to learn from home. Students in grades 7-12, who elect BSSD Distance Learning will be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities pending any mandates and/or restrictions from the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

BSSD Distance Learning is a blend of independent student work and direct instruction with an assigned Blue Springs School District certified teacher. BSSD Distance Learning is not a platform that allows for teacher-led instruction all day.

Teacher-Students opting to participate in BSSD Distance Learning will be paired with a certified teacher who may not be from the student’s home school. (i.e., A student from James Lewis Elementary may be paired with a teacher from Lucy Franklin Elementary.) Instruction could include one-on-one virtual meetings, group or class meetings, live lessons, and pre-recorded videos.

Peers-Students will be placed in a distance learning class. The class may include students from schools across the district.

Technology- This district will issue a device to all students in grades 3-12. The district is committed to providing a device to all pre-k through 2nd grade students who need one.

Building principals will coordinate device distribution.

Daily teacher-led instruction Monday-Friday-
Pre-K-Kindergarten, 45 minutes*
Grades 1-5, 60 minutes*
Grades 6-8, 2 hours*
Grades 9-12, 3 hours*

*These times are approximate and subject to change. Please note students will also need access to a device throughout the day to complete work independently. 

Student-led work-Students will be responsible for completing daily assigned coursework independently. Some or all of this coursework will need to be completed on a device. The time this work will take is dependent upon the student and grade level.

Accountability-Students will be assessed by their teacher. Grades will be given and reflected in the student’s overall grade point average (GPA applies to students in grades 6-12.) BSSD Distance Learning will also include virtual parent communication and conferences.

We learned a tremendous amount about distance learning during the spring shutdown. Since that time, our Curriculum and Instruction Department have been taking parent and student feedback to heart and modifying the coursework and expectations of BSSD Distance Learning. Over the summer, district teachers have been rewriting education as we know it and developing top-notch and achievable distance learning curriculum for our students Pre-K-12 moving forward.

By selecting Distance Learning, families must commit to a full semester (August-December).

Thank you for your continued partnership in education. If you have questions related to the 2020-2021 learning programs please contact your student's school office.

Together we will get through this. For our students. For our community. For our future.

Sincerely,
Blue Springs School District