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Derby Public Schools Superintendent Heather Bohaty gave an update Tuesday on the plan for the 2020 school year, saying that tentatively the district plans to welcome back students on August 12 while also giving the details of three possible learning models.

The three learning models include in-person learning, online-only instruction, and hybrid learning, meaning a combination of in-person and online. The various options are similar to what other nearby school districts and districts nationwide have presented as options for the fall semester.

The district may move forward with more than one of these options, allowing families to pick a learning model that best fits their needs, but none of the district’s plans are set in stone yet.

The Kansas Department of Education will release its plan and guidelines for Kansas schools on July 16, and the district will modify its approach based on those KSDE guidelines. The district’s school year plan will be presented to the Derby school board in late July.

Bohaty wrote that currently the “hope is to be able to offer an in-person option of school this fall” and that students who attend in-person “will have additional COVID-19 safety measures in place.” 

In addition, the district may offer online-only instruction as a learning option “to families who elect to learn from home,” Bohaty wrote. That option would include instruction by a district teacher that mirrors the district’s curriculum and a mix of online activities, lessons and assessments. Bohaty wrote that online instruction will become available to students attending in-person if there comes a time when schools have to shut down again because of COVID-19.

Lastly, a hybrid learning option — meaning a combination of in-person and online instruction — would potentially be utilized for families that choose in-person instruction if the district has to limit the number of students in the building at a time. The hybrid structure would include in-person instruction and online live instruction and assignments.

Families will receive a survey this month asking them about any preferences they have for the various learning model options. 

A back to school timeline was included in the statement. Here are some of the key dates.

  • July 9: Enrollment Update in mailboxes (approximate date)

  • July 14-15: State Board of Education to receive KSDE guidance for schools

  • July 16: Kansas State Department of Education releases plan; district leadership will receive detailed training on the recommendations

  • July 16-24: Derby Public Schools will modify plans to align with KSDE guidance

  • July 27: Present school year plans to the Board of Education

  • Aug. 12: First day of school

This story will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.

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