Today, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced his decision to keep all K-12 public and charter schools closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. It was the right call.
Parson received recommendations from school district superintendents from across the state as well as from Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) staff. This doesn’t mean instruction will stop–it’s just that the buildings will remain closed. Teachers continue to instruct their pupils at a distance through e-learning. School staff will continue to print off hard copies of worksheets and other learning resources in rural areas where students don’t have access to high speed broadband connections.
Missouri’s public school districts have been doing a tremendous job in meeting the needs of students, and they plan to continue doing so. Some districts are mailing information out to students while others run a school bus each day, delivering much-needed food and instructional packets. Each district will need to decide how to proceed through the end of their academic year.
Parson’s decision will remove some of the uncertainty for students, parents, and teachers–at least for a few weeks. Most school districts hold summer school in June. Administrators will need to make that decision soon. We bet summer sessions will be well-attended when it’s safe to return.
Commencement for graduating high school seniors will still need to be worked out. School officials are already making plans to recognize those students’ achievements. They’ll release details when the “all-clear” sign is given. We look forward to cheering those young men and women on as they walk across the stage and collect their diploma.
Parson Got It Right
This is a trying time for everyone in the Show-Me State, and mistakes have been made. We’ve criticized Governor Parson in the past for lagging behind in making his Stay-at-Home decision. Lots of questions still remain and details need to be worked out. In this instance, Governor Parson made the right decision to close Missouri’s schools.
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