Our local school administrators, teaching staff, support teams and school boards should be thanked for their massive efforts to get schools ready to re-open next month.
Not only have they had to roll with the punches coming from the coronavirus pandemic starting in March, they have had to think through new concepts in education and develop plans on how to implement them effectively, while always considering a safe and sanitary setting to accomplish the effort.
It is no easy task, and this summer especially there has probably been more focus on educational opportunity than ever before by the entire team that makes our schools run.
Fortunately, the legislature had faith in local school districts and their superintendents and teachers by passing legislation to ensure the local ability to create suitable provisions for educating our youth, depending on each district’s local pandemic situation. Our local districts, who are working with each other as well as local health officials, have risen to the challenge and should be commended.
While Governor Kelly wanted to hold control of the entire state in Topeka through statewide orders, which ignored the science and data of the unique community-level scenarios found across the state, the Kansas State Board of Education overruled her and gave the responsibility to localize our response back to the local districts.
The State Attorney General and the attorneys for the Kansas Association of School Boards believe local districts could also overrule the mask mandate and other restrictions placed on local school districts, but the Governor disagrees. That order is probably headed for a battle, but local districts have almost all decided to institute some version of a mask requirement, so the point is probably moot.
In my position, I’ve had plenty of conversations with administrators, educators and school board members over the last few months, and rest assured, they are taking this health threat seriously and are no less capable of addressing this situation than whoever is advising the governor. They will do right by our children.
Why wouldn’t they? These are their kids, their students, their fellow citizens – to think they wouldn’t put a priority on health, safety and the importance of a continued educational experience is an insult to their calling.