COVID-19 update: School cancelation, grading changes, event changes and more

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U.S. Department of State

Photo courtesy of Google Creative Commons License from the U.S. Department of State.

As of March 23, KSD has officially closed until Wednesday, April 22. TKC spoke with KHS Principal Michael Havener about updates. 

Food provisions 

Until school resumes, students and families that qualify for free and reduced lunches can pick up meals from KHS and Nipher Middle School; meals will be delivered to any Voluntary Transfer Students in the Kirkwood zone. As for Normandy and Riverview Garden residents, families should expect to receive specific pick up times and locations soon. An official date for delivery and pickup to start has not been set, however, Havener said the district is aiming to start distributing Thursday at the same time online schooling begins. 

If your family is in need of food assistance please fill out the form here and if you are willing to help through donating or volunteering please visit here

Event changes

In relation to events such as prom and graduation, KHS sent out an email today informing the senior class that prom will not be at the Marriott Grand Hotel April 17. KHS administration plans to reschedule prom and set a makeup date and venue sometime in the future. 

In addition, KHS confirmed the class of 2020 will have a graduation ceremony. If the school cannot keep graduation for May 9, backup dates are June 13 and June 20. Both of the backup dates are Saturdays and both would take place at Chaifetz Arena. If none of the planned dates work, the administration still intends to hold graduation at the KHS stadium and will update families in the future. 

Graduation might not happen on the day they were scheduled, but we are going to have a graduation. I don’t care if I have to call everyone back while you’re in college or if we have to do it on Thanksgiving Day. We’re having graduation. We’re trying our hardest.”

— Dr. Michael Havener, KHS principal

There is no Golden K ceremony on April 20 as planned. The Gold K certificates will be mailed out if the ceremony is not rescheduled. Since the Gold K factors in the first seven semesters of high school, seniors have already been finalized and online schooling will not impact the recipients. 

Online schooling (senior projects, unit and AP testing, special education and more)

In addition to the information sent out by KSD this afternoon, Havener said teachers and administration are discussing ways to make sure the switch to online classes doesn’t negatively impact students’ grades. AP exams were already moved online and the online alternatives are being prepared. However, unit tests through KHS are also going to change. Havener said in order to protect testing material teachers will be focusing on monitoring the progress of students through daily assignments, blogs or conversations rather than having standard multiple-choice exams. The goal is, Havener said, to make sure this is an experience that doesn’t hurt students’ grades and the transition as smooth as can be. 

Overall, online school will take place at the same time that school takes place when it’s regularly in session. Some classes may require students to complete an allotted amount of work each day and others might require Zoom meetings a couple of times per week. Each teacher is making their own decision on how to run their class. If a teacher decides to hold a Zoom meeting, the meeting will take place during the time a student would be in that teacher’s class during the school day. KSD is downloading Zoom onto all student laptops Wednesday, March 23. 

For physical education, practical and fine art classes teachers are deciding on an individual or department basis on how to reorganize their classes online. They should all reach out to their students to inform them of the plan before Thursday, March 26. Teachers are also deciding how to handle the grading of senior projects this week, so far they have decided the grading will be more flexible and individualized. 

Special education teachers and counselors will also be holding office hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special education teachers will make calls to families at least once a week about their caseload; the communication will be done through Schoology, Zoom and email.

KSD provided the link for a form if your family is in need of Internet access at home. Please click here if you need access. In addition, technical support will be provided Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., starting Thursday, March 26. Here is the support page. There will also be a KSD Webinar Wednesday, March 25 from 6-7 p.m. to answer questions from families. Here is the sign-up link for the webinar. (If the webinar exceeds the limit of 500 participants there will be a second webinar scheduled.)

Miscellaneous 

  • Kirkwood School District Foundation (KSDF) will be discussing the interview process for scholarships and reaching out to families with word soon. TKC is reaching out to the foundation for more information. 
  • All EOCs (end of course exams) and statewide assessments, such as MAP testing, are canceled.  
  • The April 7 election (which includes the school board election) has been postponed until June 2, 2020. 
  • For more information on how AP exams will look click here.
  • For mental health resources click here for specifics on counseling or here for contact information.