District COVID-19 Updates to Parents, Staff

  • April 1 - Graduation Set for Late July

    The Olathe Public Schools is excited to announce the rescheduling of our senior commencement ceremonies for the class of 2020. 

    The revised commencement plan reschedules the May 15-17 ceremonies to the last weekend in July 2020, to give as much time as possible to allow for the necessary restrictions and precautions of COVID-19 to be lifted by local and state health officials. The ceremonies will take place outdoors at the College Boulevard Activities Center (CBAC), with the Olathe Northwest High School gym as the alternative site for inclement weather. The revised schedule will be as follows:

    Friday, July 24: Olathe West at 7:30 p.m.

    Saturday, July 25: Olathe North at 10 a.m. and Olathe South at 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, July 26: Olathe East at 10 a.m. and Olathe Northwest at 7:30 p.m.

    “We feel it is very important to do everything in our power to recognize our seniors, especially given the devastating change to their final semester, which included losing prom, sports, activities and performances, student trips, and commencement in May,” said Jim McMullen, Assistant Superintendent of High School Education. “The Board of Education and our Superintendent John Allison have been incredibly supportive of the concept to honor our seniors; it’s just a little later than originally planned.”

    The rescheduled dates will be held pending clearance from both the county and state health departments, which have both been an essential partner with the Olathe Public Schools during this challenging time. All Alternative Education graduation ceremonies will be held during the same weekend, with more details to come.

    More information will be shared in the next few weeks from the high school principals to their respective communities.

    March 31 - District Grounds Closed to Patrons

    As mandated by the State of Kansas and Johnson County, all district playgrounds, fields, tracks and courts are closed. We appreciate your help in working together for community health. Signs will be posted.

    March 30 - Continuous Learning has Launched

    The Olathe Public Schools has developed resources for online and off-screen learning opportunities for students to focus on key concepts, knowledge and skills. Each week, on Monday mornings, between March 30 and May 18, 2020, new continuous learning opportunities will be available for each grade level and content area.

    Step-by-step instructions lead online learners through grade level or course specific continuous learning opportunities. Visit www.olatheschools.org/ContinuousLearning to get started. Students who are off-screen learners will be provided paper packets to continue learning. These packets will be available to print from the website or to pick up at the food distribution sites, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Central, Fairview, Havencroft, Indian Creek, Northview, Ridgeview, Rolling Ridge, Washington and Westview elementary schools. Read more about food distribution.

    District technology support is available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Technology will be providing support via email. Parents can email our Help Desk at helpdesk@olatheschools.org for district related technology support.

    Teachers and principals will be available to answer questions related to continuous learning and will respond to students within 24 hours (Monday through Friday). For questions related to Continuous Learning, please contact your teacher or principal.

    We appreciate your patience and grace. No online curriculum can replace the learning opportunities provided by the classroom; however, we look forward to keeping students engaged in the learning process.

    Again, visit www.olatheschools.org/ContinuousLearning to get started.

     

    Las Escuelas Públicas de Olathe han desarrollado recursos de oportunidades de aprendizaje en línea y fuera de la pantalla para que los estudiantes se concentren en conceptos, conocimientos y habilidades clave. Cada semana, los lunes por la mañana, entre el 30 de marzo y el 18 de mayo de 2020, habrá nuevas oportunidades de aprendizaje continuo para cada nivel de grado y área de contenido.

    Las instrucciones brindadas en línea conducen a los estudiantes a través de instrucciones de acuerdo a su nivel de grado u oportunidades de aprendizaje continuo específicas por curso. Visite www.olatheschools.org/ContinuousLearning para comenzar. A los estudiantes que aprendan fuera de la pantalla se les proporcionarán paquetes impresos para que continúen aprendiendo. Estos paquetes estarán disponibles para imprimirlos en el portal electrónico o para ser recogidos en los sitios de distribución de alimentos, de lunes a viernes, desde las 11 a.m. a las 12:30 p.m. en las escuelas primarias Central, Fairview, Havencroft, Indian Creek, Northview, Ridgeview, Rolling Ridge, Washington y Westview. Obtenga más información acerca de la distribución de alimentos en: https://bit.ly/2WuPcih.

    El distrito escolar brindará apoyo tecnológico de 8 a.m. a 4 p.m. de lunes a viernes. El Departamento de Tecnología proporcionará dicho apoyo a través de correo electrónico. Los padres pueden enviar un correo electrónico a nuestro centro de ayuda (Help Desk) helpdesk@olatheschools.org para cualquier tipo de ayuda relacionada con la tecnología del distrito.

    Los profesores y directores estarán disponibles para responder a las preguntas relacionadas con el aprendizaje continuo y responderán a los estudiantes dentro de las 24 horas (de lunes a viernes). Para preguntas relacionadas con “Aprendizaje Continuo”, por favor contacte a su profesor o director.

    Apreciamos su paciencia y tolerancia. Ningún plan de estudios en línea puede reemplazar las oportunidades de aprendizaje que ofrece el salón de clases; sin embargo, esperamos mantener a los estudiantes involucrados en el proceso de aprendizaje.

    Nuevamente, visite www.olatheschools.org/ContinuousLearning para comenzar.

    March 27 Update for High School Parents

    As we all begin to manage our “new normal,” the Olathe Public Schools is as committed as ever to focusing on students and their futures. Although our buildings are closed and we have all been asked to remain at home with our families, district administrators and teachers have been tirelessly working on a Continuous Learning Plan that will allow students and teachers to stay connected while providing students with weekly activities and engaging lessons. 

    Knowing that students, staff and all of our families are facing a situation that is constantly evolving, we acknowledge that providing education in the same way as normal during the fourth quarter is not realistic. Likewise, parents working from home cannot be expected to be the sole providers of their children’s learning. Our number one goal right now is for your students to feel safe and supported during this time, while offering them the opportunity to advance their learning and create an environment that is predictable and meaningful. Next fall, as we have always done, the Olathe Public Schools teachers and staff will meet students where they are and provide instruction as needed.

    If you have questions about the content available online or in the learning packets, please feel free to contact your child’s classroom teacher by email. All emails will be responded to within 24 hours (Monday through Friday).

    We look forward to offering the first week of the Continuous Learning Plan, beginning March 30.  Some key points to know: 

    • The Continuous Learning Plan link will be shared on Monday, March 30 at 9 a.m.
    • Lessons will be released each Monday morning, starting March 30 through May 18, 2020. All lessons will remain online through the end of the school year.
    • Web-based and packet-based options are available to families with similar activities in each option. The packet-based option will be available online to print, as well as in a printed form that may be picked up at the district’s food distribution sites during food distribution times. Read more about food distribution.
    • Students thrive on a schedule. Recommended home schedules are listed under each grade level on the website.
    • Olathe teachers will continue working to create weekly lessons in all academic content areas, including a comprehensive section of additional resources available for students and families. Students will continue to have the opportunities to engage in learning, extending their knowledge of all subject areas.
    • In addition to academic content, lessons in physical fitness, online safety and social-emotional learning will be available each week through the online resources.
    • At present, Olathe administrators are working with JCCC (College Now and Quick Step) and College Board (AP course) on the expected changes from those organizations. At this time, College Board is developing options for students who wish to take AP exams this spring as well as resources to support continued learning. JCCC is working with our district to develop a plan to support the continued learning for students in dual-enrollment courses. Updated information will be sent out by schools and teachers as it becomes available.

    Grades and Teacher Contact

    • On March 30, third quarter grades will be posted for all students. Students will essentially freeze their third quarter grade; making their third quarter grade the semester grade for that class. The work that will be available online or through packet learning will be important for students to take part in, but will not directly impact their grade at this time.
    • However, if the student with a D or above wishes to improve the grade by up to 10%, the student should contact the teacher by email by April 17. We ask that students copy a parent on the email. If the student has an IEP, the student will also copy the case manager for the IEP. The teacher will determine through assessing the student’s ability against priority standards what the student will do to improve the grade.  A contract will be created for each individual student based on the individual situation with activities specific to the student’s current situation to provide grade improvement possibility. These activities may include some of the learning opportunities provided by the district in fourth quarter, or personalized assignments for the individual student.
    • If a student has an F in a course, the student and parent will be contacted by the teacher via email. If the student is a senior and the course is ELA or Government, the teacher will copy the counselor and the assistant principal. Counselors will play an active role in communicating with teachers of seniors who need a class other than ELA or Government for graduation. If the student has an IEP, the teacher will also copy the case manager on the email.
    • Teachers will respond to all emails from students or parents within one normal school day (Monday through Friday) to confirm receipt. All student work must be completed and submitted to teachers by May 15. Second semester grades will be submitted for each student on May 22.

    Special Services

    • Students who receive special education services will be contacted by case managers to outline the individualized learning necessary for students, based on the IEP, and the Olathe Continuous Learning Plan opportunities. This will occur during the week of March 30-April 3, 2020.

    Thank you for your partnership in keeping our children engaged in learning during this time.  

    Sincerely,  

    Dr. Brent Yeager, assistant superintendent for Learning Services

    March 27 Update for Preschool through Eighth-grade Parents 

    As we all begin to manage our “new normal,” the Olathe Public Schools is as committed as ever to focusing on students and their futures. Although our buildings are closed and we have all been asked to remain at home with our families, district administrators and teachers have been tirelessly working on a Continuous Learning Plan that will allow students and teachers to stay connected while providing students with weekly activities and engaging lessons. 

    Knowing that students, staff and all of our families are facing a situation that is constantly evolving, we acknowledge that providing education in the same way as normal during the fourth quarter is not realistic. Likewise, parents working from home cannot be expected to be the sole providers of their children’s learning. Our number one goal right now is for your students to feel safe and supported during this time, while offering them the opportunity to advance their learning and create an environment that is predictable and meaningful. Next fall, as we have always done, the Olathe Public Schools teachers and staff will meet students where they are and provide instruction as needed.

    If you have questions about the content available online or in the learning packets, please feel free to contact your child’s classroom teacher by email. All emails will be responded to within 24 hours (Monday through Friday).

    The first week of the Continuous Learning Plan will be March 30. Some key points to know: 

    • The Continuous Learning Plan link will be shared on Monday, March 30 at 9 a.m.
    • Lessons will be released each Monday morning, starting March 30 through May 18, 2020. All lessons will remain online through the end of the school year.
    • Web-based and packet-based options are available to families with similar activities in each option. The packet-based option will be available online to print, as well as in a printed form that may be picked up at the district’s food distribution sites during food distribution times. Read more about food distribution.
    • Teachers have been working to create lessons each week for computer safety, social-emotional learning, English/language arts, math, science and social studies. There are also learning options each week for specials and electives such as music, art, library, physical education, Career and Technical Education and world language.
    • Additional optional resources are available on each grade level page of the website to provide extension and enrichment activities.
    • Students thrive on a schedule. Recommended home schedules are listed under each grade level on the website.
    • Students do not need to turn in their work from the Continuous Learning lessons. However, students and families may request feedback from teachers via email.
    • Third quarter grades will be posted on March 30. If you have questions regarding grades, please contact your child’s teacher. Third quarter grades will become the fourth quarter and semester grades. There will not be an opportunity to change these grades at the elementary or middle level.
    • Students who receive special education services will be contacted by case managers to outline the individualized learning necessary for students, based on the IEP, and the Olathe Continuous Learning Plan opportunities. This will occur during the week of March 30-April 3, 2020.

    Thank you for your partnership in keeping our children engaged in learning during this time. 

    Sincerely,  

    Dr. Brent Yeager, assistant superintendent for Learning Services 

    March 20 Update about On-the-Go Meal Packs

    Beginning on Monday, March 23, the Olathe Public Schools will be providing on-the-go meal packs for students 18 and under from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday until further notice. Students will receive one lunch sack and one breakfast sack. The sites where the food will be available are:

    • Central, 305 E. Cedar Street
    • Fairview, 600 N. Marion
    • Havencroft, 1700 E. Sheridan Street
    • Indian Creek, 15800 Indian Creek Parkway
    • Northview, 900 N. Woodland Road
    • Ridgeview, 1201 E. Elm Street
    • Rolling Ridge, 1500 W. Elm Terrace
    • Washington, 1202 N. Ridgeview Road
    • Westview, 500 S. Troost Street

    Your children must be present with you to pick up their meals. This will be a drive-thru set up. We ask that you not park and get out of your car. For families who live in the area and may be walking, a second area will be set up for you to pick-up your meal. We are hopeful that we have determined the right amount of meals to have available but please be patient if we run out. We will adjust our numbers the following day. No meals are available for adults at this time.

    The lunches will be prepared under strict sanitation procedures at the school district’s Food Production Center following all food safety requirements of the Kansas Food Code plus additional protocols specifically to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Staff distributing the sack lunches at the schools will also be following protocols to ensure both food safety and to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Note: families will have to monitor food allergies on their own; no special food and diet restrictions will be able to be maintained at this time.

    Thank you for continuing to partner with us to support our children.

    March 19 Update for Parents

    We appreciate the patience and support as we work through many of the questions we all have. We’ve been closely monitoring your questions and working with leadership officials across the state. We hope the answers below help clarify some of your questions. Please keep monitoring your email as subsequent messages will be coming in the following days and weeks.

    Student Grades and Plans for Continuous Learning

    Our intent is to use third quarter grades as a starting point for fourth quarter and semester grades. Based on our continuous learning plan which will begin on March 30, students at risk of not graduating or who would like to enhance their second semester grades will have opportunities to positively impact their final grades. Keeping in mind that students’ lives have changed dramatically in the recent days, we are going to focus learning opportunities in the coming weeks on the critical standards we know our students need to understand.

    The district continues to develop plans for student learning opportunities and will be prepared to begin delivering them to students the week of March 30. We will continue to provide additional information as plans are finalized. 

    AP Courses and College NOW

    We are working with College Board related to AP Courses and AP Exams, and the Kansas Board of Regents and Johnson County Community College about College Now courses and will communicate more as it becomes available.

    Technology Information

    Starting on Monday, March 23, district technology support will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Technology will be providing support via email. Parents can also email our Help Desk helpdesk@olatheschools.org for district-related technology support. High school students can continue to submit work orders for their devices using their student help desk web link. (Every high school student device has a web help shortcut on their desktop.) At this time we are not providing physical device support.

    Below is some repeated, but important information from yesterday’s message.

    Reunification with medicine and medical supplies

    We are working on a plan to connect families with their child’s medicine and medical supplies and will communicate with more information when that plan has been put into place.

    Reunification with staff and student personal items

    Collecting personal items for staff and students will also be addressed at a later date. They are not accessible at this time.

    Food for Students in Need

    District staff are working on a plan to help our most vulnerable students receive meals. This plan will begin on Monday, March 23 and we will communicate with our most vulnerable families about this plan.

    Events and Activities

    All district student activities, athletics, competitions, travel, and trips are canceled through the end of the school year. We do not know what this looks like for key events like graduation, but we are hopeful that we can hold a delayed graduation ceremony later in the summer. 

    Thank you for your patience and understanding as we are working through this unprecedented situation. We will continue to communicate more as we have more information.

    I encourage our community to adhere to the guidelines and recommendations put in place by our local, state, and national government agencies.  It is imperative that we do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones.

    Respectfully,

    Superintendent John Allison

    March 18 Update for Parents

    I hope this message finds you and your family safe and healthy. As we communicated yesterday, the Governor of Kansas directed the closure of all Kansas schools through the end of the school year. The impact of COVID-19 has affected so much more than our district, and we are prepared to do what we can to help minimize the spread of the virus. This is an unprecedented time with many questions and we are working on getting you answers.

    Our plan is to provide you with updates during our school closure to communicate any new information and answer pertinent questions. We are still working through important issues related to this closing and what it looks like. We aren’t able to answer all of those questions now, but below is what we can answer. Please keep monitoring your email as subsequent messages will be coming in the following days and weeks.

    Reunification with Medicine and Medical Supplies

    We are working on a plan to connect families with their child’s medicine and medical supplies and will communicate with more information when that plan has been put into place. Collecting personal items for staff and students will also be addressed at a later date. They are not accessible at this time.

    Food for Students in Need

    District staff are working on a plan to help our most vulnerable students receive meals. This plan will begin on Monday, March 23 and we will communicate with our most vulnerable families about this plan.

    Events and Activities

    All district student activities, athletics, competitions, travel, and trips are canceled through the end of the school year. We do not know what this looks like for key events like graduation, but we are hopeful that we can hold a delayed graduation ceremony later in the summer.

    Student Learning

    At this point the district is working on what supplemental learning opportunities will be available for students. We would anticipate some continuous learning opportunities for students starting the week of March 30. More information will be forthcoming.

    Community Health Resources

    • Johnson County has established the Johnson County Community COVID-19 hotline scheduled to be open as of March 18. Health professionals can be reached at 913-715-2819 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. While there are many more questions and unknowns at this point in time, I wanted to provide as much pertinent information as possible.  We will be sending updates to our staff on a weekly basis, and more frequently as needed.
    • More information can be found at www.olatheschools.org/COVID19.

    Other Important Resources:

    Thank you for your patience and understanding as we are working through this unprecedented situation. We will continue to communicate more as we have more information.

    I encourage our community to adhere to the guidelines and recommendations put in place by our local, state, and national government agencies. It is imperative that we do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones.

    Respectfully,

    Superintendent John Allison

     

    Governor Orders Schools Closed through End of School Year

    March 17, 2020 

    Johnson County school superintendents support Kansas governor’s order to close schools through end of school year.

    In order to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Kansas, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly ordered all public schools in Kansas to remain closed through the end of the school year.

    “The steps we're announcing today will create the space we need at the state level, to develop a more strategic resilient infrastructure so that we can get ahead of this threat and limit its long-term impact,” Gov. Kelly noted. 

    You can view the governor’s press conference online or read recent press releases issued on the governor’s website. Read the executive order in PDF format.

    “We are in an unprecedented time,” Superintendent John Allison said. “It requires all of us to work together in support of our community. We know that everyone is looking for answers and we are looking to provide guidance for our students and community as best we can. We appreciate everyone’s patience and support and we will continue to keep them informed as we are able to address the numerous issues that are before us.”

    The Olathe Public Schools will work to provide regular updates to the plan as they develop. At this time, we don’t have all the answers but will continue to provide communication when we have more information.

    This is unchartered territory for all of us — health officials, government officials and education officials. Please grant each other a measure of grace as we work to better understand our new normal. We are working to provide clear communication to staff and families. We appreciate your patience as we thoughtfully respond, as quickly as possible. Please check your email daily for updates and additional information.

    Schools Closed through April 5

    March 16, 2020

    In an abundance of caution, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment directed Johnson County districts, including the Olathe Public Schools, to keep schools closed through April 5. This action is designed to stem the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to the Olathe Public Schools being closed through April 5, all school activities, practices and events are also canceled during this time. There will be no facility rental or Johnson County Parks and Recreation care during this time.

    No employees will report to work during this time unless needed to complete time-sensitive tasks or as directed by their supervisor, who will consider whether work tasks could be performed from home. As this situation presents significant disruption, we wanted staff members to be reassured that they will be paid during this time.

    Additional information will be shared in the coming days, including information about online learning resources and details related to providing food for students in need in the district.

    The district strongly encourages social distancing during this time, to mitigate the spread of this virus.

    Again, the Olathe Public Schools are closed through April 5. We will continue to inform staff and families of updates as available and will communicate should this closure need to continue past April 5.

    Thank you for being our partner in protecting the health of our community.

    COVID-19 Update from Johnson County School Districts

    March 15, 2020

    The following is a joint message from the Olathe Public Schools, Blue Valley Schools, DeSoto School District, Gardner Edgerton School District, Shawnee Mission School District and Spring Hill School District.

    The Kansas State Department of Education issued the following statement on Sunday, March 15:

    As of Sunday, March 15, Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson strongly recommends that those schools currently coming off of spring break, suspend operations for the week March 16-20. All schools scheduled for spring break the week of March 16-20 will continue as planned.

    Closing all schools during this same period of time provides Kansas officials the time needed to finalize a comprehensive plan for how to address COVID-19.

    It is critical that we all follow a coordinated response to this situation. 

    This announcement does not directly impact districts in Johnson County, as all districts are on Spring Break from March 16-20, 2020; however, we commend Commissioner Watson on making this important recommendation.

    As we are all well aware, proactive measures to combat COVID-19 are important to community health and safety. All Johnson County school districts will continue to work closely with Johnson County government, including the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, to take proactive steps to address student, staff and community safety. Families should continue to proactively make plans for the very real possibility of a school closure beyond Spring Break. 

    As this remains a fluid and evolving situation, we will keep families updated as more information becomes available from Johnson County officials and the Kansas State Department of Education.

    Joint Message Regarding COVID-19

    March 13, 2020

    The following is a joint message from the Olathe Public Schools, Blue Valley Schools, DeSoto School District, Gardner Edgerton School District, Shawnee Mission School District and Spring Hill School District.

    As partners in community health, the six school districts of Johnson County, Johnson County Government and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment are in the process of collaborating and accumulating data regarding the continuation of school following spring break.

    The districts are currently deep cleaning and disinfecting buildings while students and staff members are on spring break.

    The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Education advised against school closures at this time. Although they have advised against a closure, we would like parents to be aware that a closure may become necessary in the future. 

    Before we return from spring break, we will continue to evaluate the implementation of the interim guidance from the Kansas Department of Health and the Environment Kansas Department of Education.

    As we collaborate with local health officials, we will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.

    March 13 Cancellation Information

    March 12, 2020

    In an abundance of caution, Olathe Public Schools will be closed Friday, March 13. We understand this is an inconvenience, but with the guidance we have been provided from local health departments and the amount of time necessary to deep clean the number of buildings in our district, this is a precaution we are willing to take.

    When dealing with community health and prevention from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), our top priority is the health and safety of students, staff and families. As a community, we have a shared responsibility in protecting our community from COVID-19.

    Additionally, all student practices and activities over Spring Break will be suspended and we will be canceling any outside facility rental and usage of our buildings. This includes Johnson County Parks and Recreation consolidated sites, which will be closed beginning March 13.

    During spring break, we implore our families to follow travel guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE).

    As a reminder, we continue to ask our staff and families to remain home if ill. Students should not return to classes, practices/games or any co-curricular activities until they are symptom-free (without the aid of medication) for 24 hours. The district also encourages families to practice preventative hygiene when traveling including:

    • Avoid contact with sick people.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Pay attention to your health during travel and for 14 days after you return.

    Be mindful that if you experience any symptoms of illness (fever over 100.4 or higher, cough, difficulty breathing), it will be important to contact your healthcare provider prior to returning to school in order to be evaluated.

    Johnson County Health Department advises the following:

    • Keep your child home if they have a fever >100.
    • If you have severe/significant symptoms, contact your Primary Care Provider for evaluation. If you do not have a doctor, contact a walk-in clinic.
    • Questions related to the need for testing may be directed to JCDHE at 913-477-8343 during regular business hours or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 1-877-427-7317 after business hours.

    We will provide further communication and additional information as it becomes available.

    Thank you for being our partner in protecting the health of our community.