Gov. Executive Order - COVID-19 Update

Gov. Executive Order - COVID-19 Update

This evening, the Governor of the State of Kansas, Laura Kelly, announced via executive order that Kansas schools will close for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.  However, the Leavenworth Unified School District’s year has not yet ended, though it will look and feel entirely different from the end of any other school year.  All Kansas school districts will be working to implement a “continuous learning” plan through a mix of virtual/online delivery of instruction, physical distribution of educational resources, and limited scheduling of on-site interactions with teaching staff consistent with current CDC and KDHE social distancing guidelines.  


During the Governors’ school closure period, all large group school activities, practices, events, and facility usage agreements will be cancelled.  Students will NOT report to school next week, as the Governor’s executive order ceases “in-person instruction” for the remainder of the school year.        


Beginning next week, USD 453 staff will report to work (time and location to be specified and communicated by end of this week), and develop Leavenworth’s plan for continuous learning to complete the current school year.  By Monday, March 30, communication will be sent to school families informing them of how their student will be engaged by their teachers and building principal.  


All school facilities and district sites are being deep cleaned throughout this week, and essential personnel are reporting to the district office to make contingency plans to support student learning, and continued employment for our certified and classified staff.  Prior to leaving for Spring Break, our Teaching and Learning Department developed a website to begin uploading grade level educational content that could be made available to school families. In alignment with our planning, on Sunday, March 15, the Kansas Commissioner of Education named a Continuous Learning Task Force of 25+ teachers and administrators from across the state to develop recommendations to school districts that would guide the implementation of a distance learning model.  We are also working with our local cable provider to solicit free internet access for those homes that do not currently have that capacity. There are many things happening concurrently, and we are working hard to understand expectations from the State Department of Education, compliance to guidance from the Leavenworth County Health Department, and make the best decisions possible for our school district. As of this writing, there are many things still yet to be determined.  


District administration has been planning for the challenges ahead, and will continue to provide clarity for our school community in response to this unprecedented public health crisis.  We know that there are a variety of questions and issues to resolve in the days and weeks ahead, and we ask that everyone remain patient, be kind to one another, and focused on the health of our Leavenworth community.    


Most importantly, we ask that everyone review the attached fact sheet from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and follow best practices to keep yourselves and your family safe.     


The next communication from USD 453 will be sent to school families and staff no later than the end of day, Friday, March 20, 2020.