Governor Kelly Recommends To Temporarily Close Schools

Governor Laura Kelly today announced her recommendation to close all public schools for the upcoming week to allow administrators and teachers to develop a strategic plan moving forward. At the direction of the Governor, the Kansas State Board of Education formed a team tasked with addressing key concerns.

β€œWe take this pandemic and our preparedness seriously,” Kelly said. β€œOne of these areas of particular concern is our K-12 schools, where our children, parents and staff come together in one place. Our schools form the cornerstones of our communities. It is because of this that we need to ensure that schools are prepared to face the COVID-19 challenge.

β€œWhen classes resume, parents can be assured their children will continue to receive the same high-quality, world-class education Kansas is known for,” Kelly said.

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The Kansas State Board of Education has formed a team of experts, many of whom are former Teachers of the Year, to build a comprehensive plan to address the challenges that schools are facing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the specific topics this team will address are:

β€’ How schools can move education online, if necessary, so students can progress toward the end of semester.

β€’ How schools can assist students who do not have access to online tools to finish out the semester, especially those who are set to graduate in May.

β€’ How schools can provide for at-risk students and those who have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

β€’ How schools will ensure a continuity of school-based mental health services.

β€’ How schools can assist in providing meals for students who need them.

β€’ What role schools can play in assisting with childcare for essential local and state healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers who live in their counties.

β€’ How schools will assist in efforts to keep children from congregating in community spaces and keep them quarantined in their own homes.

β€’ And educating parents on ways they can help the continuity of education for their children.

Governor Kelly continues to work closely with the Kansas State Department of Education and Kansas Department of Health and Environment, along with local and federal partners to develop sensible steps that can protect every Kansan.

β€œLet me remind Kansans once again: while everyone needs to be mindful of what they can do to avoid spreading the virus — namely thorough hand washing, social distancing and avoiding crowds — this is not a time to panic,” Kelly said. β€œIt is a time to be aware of the need to be very careful. It is a time to be respectful of others who are vulnerable. And, it is a time to use common sense safety measures. This remains the best defense against COVID-19.”

 For the most up-to-date information and resources regarding the status of COVID-19 in Kansas, please visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website:

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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