Schools close for remainder of year after order by Gov. Laura Kelly

The district, aided by the state, will pursue options for alternative education, including online school


By Isabel Aerni

Frank Harwood addresses students at a pep assembly. Harwood outlined the district’s Coming Back Together plan for school reopenings at the board meeting Monday, July 13 2020.

Ben Wieland, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced an order to shut down all public schools in Kansas for the remainder of the year Tuesday, March 17 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

According to an email sent to teachers by superintendent Frank Harwood, the district will attempt to find a way to continue education.

“We are entering a profound moment in our state and country,” Harwood said in the email. “All of us, working together, will do our very best in trying to continue education under the circumstances.”

On Monday, March 23, administrators will return to to offices to discuss a plan for education moving forward. The Kansas State Department of Education will also provide guidelines to school districts about how to proceed for the rest of the semester, according to KSDE commissioner Randy Watson.

In a press conference, Watson indicated that the KSDE would provide resources for online learning to public and private schools.

The district’s Student Nutrition Department is planning to make curbside meals available. They are collaborating with the state to make these plans, which will be ramped up early next week.

A county-wide task force has been formed to find solutions for childcare in light of school closures by collaborating with other organizations.

The district is also committed to paying and providing benefits to all employees during the missed time.

As the district embarks into an unprecedented shutdown, Harwood outlined to teachers the importance of collaboration in addressing the situation.

“By working together, we can provide support to each other during this difficult and evolving situation,” Harwood said. “We’ll take this one day at a time and do our best to support our families and our employees.”

If you are a Mill Valley student, parent or employee and your life has been significantly affected by this announcement, please reach out to [email protected] to share your story.

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