Second Semester Update

Second Semester Update
Posted on 12/10/2020
Second Semester UpdateDuring the holiday season, many of us take time out of our busy schedules to thank, appreciate, and recognize those who are important to us. The Blue Springs School District is grateful to all of you for coming together, working together, and growing together during these most unsettling times.
Pandemic or not, the Blue Springs School District is continually learning and adapting to best serve our students’ and families’ current needs. To best serve our students and support our teaching staff, we will be hiring 16 teachers in the next few weeks. The rationale for this decision and the breakdown of new teachers is as follows:

Pre-K / Elementary: In-person class sizes will be growing second semester as many BSSD Distance Learning students transition to school on-site. We are transferring ten of our first semester distance learning teachers to on-site classes and will be hiring six additional elementary teachers to serve the on-site classes to help keep the class sizes manageable for second semester.

Middle School: Ten new teachers will be employed so that staff will have additional dedicated sections for BSSD Distance Learning in second semester. This will dramatically reduce the number of teachers having to teach on-site and distance learning students in the same class period. As a result, this plan will allow a single delivery method for our teaching staff, creating a more efficient instructional experience for both students and staff.

High school (BSHS, BSHSFC, BSSHS): Due to the number of courses we offer at the high school level, we are unable to adequately hire additional staff to offset the needs of students and staff at the high schools. To help alleviate some of the pressure and time constraints that high school teachers have by simultaneously teaching both on-site and distance learning students, we are making a schedule change for our 9 – 12 grade programs. Beginning on Wednesday, January 13, every Wednesday will be learning from home days for 9 – 12 grade students at BSHS, BSHSFC, and BSSHS. While at home, students will not follow a live bell schedule or be required to log in every Wednesday at certain times. As your students have experienced over the last three weeks, the workload and assignments will vary by each teacher every Wednesday. Teachers will be available to answer questions and provide assistance to students on Wednesdays during regular school hours. Through this change on Wednesdays, high school teaching staff can opt to check in on students on quarantine, work with students who have fallen behind, and meet with their current BSSD distance learners.

Hall-McCarter Education Center: All programs at HMEC, including Valley View High School, will remain on its current schedule of all in-person on-site classes, five days per week.

By hiring additional teachers, the board of education and district leadership team are investing a significant amount of money to an already tight budget in a time of increasing funding cuts. However, we strongly believe these seemingly small changes will improve instructional quality and learning for all students.

This will probably not be the last time this school year we make changes, but we can promise you that all our decisions are made with the best intentions to benefit our students, staff, and families. Thank you for your partnership in education.
Sincerely,
Blue Springs School District