Private schools in south KC will begin soon. Here are their plans.
By Christina McDonough Hunt
The schools throughout the south Kansas City area are making final decisions and announcing their plans of action for returning to school.
All of the private schools listed below have taken a significant amount of time to maximize in-person learning for their students, while also working to adhere to the safety guidelines from the CDC and other local health departments and recommendations. Schools are requiring facial coverings to be worn while indoors, unless otherwise noted, and are asking everyone to observe the 6-foot physical distance rule. Handwashing will be strongly encouraged and the cleaning and disinfection schedules have all been revised to include increased cleaning. Each school is also asking that every family adhere to state guidelines and recommendations in order to minimize exposure and prevent any future outbreaks. Most of the schools are conducting COVID-19 temperature and symptoms screenings for all who enter the building, those not conducting these screenings are noted.
The Barstow School
Barstow will begin full-time, in-person classes on August 20. Student contact will be limited. Preschool – Grade 5 will remain in their assigned rooms with teachers rotate to each classroom. There will be no student assemblies. Grades 6-12 will begin their day 45 minutes later and end one hour after the Lower School. They will have a modified schedule in order to minimize the number of transition times. And students will be assigned “home bases” where they can safely work on schoolwork and socialize while also social distancing. Barstow’s food/dining services will not be available for August and September and students are to bring a lunch from home. .
Calvary Lutheran School
Calvary Lutheran will begin full-time, in-person classes on August 19. Calvary drop off and pick up procedures have been modified to adhere to the social distancing guidelines (6 foot minimum). Students will not share school supplies, and classrooms will be set up to keep the students 6 feet apart. Individual desk shields will be used by students when social distancing is not possible. Outdoor learning is highly encouraged, and remote learning will be available if necessary. Meals will be served and students will eat in their classrooms or outside. Calvary also intends to proceed with fall sports, offering Volleyball and Soccer, with modified schedules, safety protocols, and participant expectations.
Grandview Christian School
Grandview Christian School will begin in-person and distance learning options on August 19. The distance learning option will implement Google Classrooms. Remote learners will be required to meet with their teacher in person bi-weekly. Students are required to have a personal hand sanitizer in their desks. Hot lunch will not be available; however, pizza will still be offered on Mondays. GCS has also altered their bell schedule to accommodate social distancing during arrival, departure, and passing periods. Social distancing will be enforced and temperatures will be taken each morning and reported. Sports will proceed for the fall semester.
Lutheran High School of KC
The Lutheran High School of Kansas City is offering their students the option to attend in-person classes or online. Classes begin August 18. The online option will include a live videostream of the classrooms so students can log on to actively participate in class. They have also made modifications such as removing tables from specific classrooms and adding desks to allow for social distancing. Class sizes have been reduced and sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the school.
Notre Dame de Sion High School
Notre Dame de Sion High School will begin a phased-in start date with live online learning on August 19, and in-person learning on August 25. Sion will reduce student group sizes. Arrival, dismissal and passing periods have been modified for social distancing, as well as classrooms and common areas. Socially distanced lockers will be provided for freshmen, and grades 10 through 12 will receive a locker by request only. Hot lunch will still be available, with the exception of the soup and salad bar. Sports will be offered in the fall and will follow the COVID protocols that are recommended for athletics. Only in-person students may participate in athletics and practices begin August 10.
Rockhurst High School
Rockhurst High School will begin full-time, in-person classes on August 20. To accommodate the 6-foot distancing rule, larger, non-classroom areas, such as the theater or gym, will be converted into classroom spaces. Block Scheduling has also been introduced. The block sessions will have a two-day cycle, and will allow the students to have longer class times and fewer passing periods.
St. Elizabeth School
St. Elizabeth will begin their in-person and connected learning classes on August 26. Remote learners can join their classmates live online. The school is requiring parents to take their student’s temperatures each day and fill out an online form answering COVID-19 symptoms questions. St. Elizabeth’s is not allowing the use of lockers and instead are asking students to keep their belongings with them at their desks. Shared materials, such as computers, will be sanitized between each use. At the end of the day, students will remain in their classrooms until their parent/guardian has arrived to pick them up where they will be notified by walkie talkie. STE sports will proceed by following the Parochial League KC guidelines. A waiver is required to be signed by all families choosing in-person learning.
St. Thomas More
St. Thomas More will begin in-person and connected learning classes on August 27. St. Thomas More will offer a connected learning approach to families who choose not to send their student in person. Remote learners are not permitted to attend nor participate in school sports or activities. A COVID-19 waiver is required to be signed for families who choose in-person schooling. Parents are required to check student temperatures and fill out an online form daily. Students will not have access to lockers and are asked to keep their belongings at their desks. Drop off and pick up areas have been modified to allow for social distancing.
St. Peter’s School
St. Peter’s School will begin hybrid learning on August 26. STP has opted to offer their students a hybrid learning model for the first quarter of school. The hybrid model will consist of instruction that provides 40-50 percent in-person education and 50-60 percent digital learning experiences. This model allows for physical distancing by reducing the number of students in one area at one time, while still providing face-to-face learning.
Whitefield Academy will begin full-time, in-person classes on August 20. Whitefield’s plan includes limiting visitors on campus, minimizing cross-grade interaction, and encouraging more outside time. Grades PreK-1 will not be required to wear a facial covering while in their classrooms, but will be required when elsewhere in the building. Grades 2-12 will be required to wear a facial covering at all times unless social distancing is possible. Whitelfield is providing two face masks to each student, free of charge, and adding hand sanitizing stations. Temperatures will be taken daily for all who enter the building and their hot lunch program will not be offered with the exception of special Monday and Friday menus.