The Independence and Fort Osage school districts on Sunday joined the growing cancelation list as a precaution due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Both districts announced they would close for two weeks. They had been scheduled to start spring break this coming Friday. Classes are set to resume Monday, March 30.
The Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Lee’s Summit schools districts have not made announcements regarding classes. Those districts are on spring break this week.
“This is an unprecedented situation, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we respond and work to support our students, families, and staff throughout the closure,” the Independence School District said on its website.
Several governors have canceled school across their states, but Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Friday he would leave the decision to local districts.
Independence said it would still offer some student meals. “Grab and go” lunches will be available at Bridger Middle School, Randall Elementary and Truman, Van Horn and William Chrisman high schools between 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Staff will bring meals to vehicles at the front entrance. Meal distribution will resume at those sites March 30 if classes have not resumed.
Independence district staff will work Monday and Tuesday to prepare virtual learning resources that students will find on the district website. For elementary students who do not have regular access to the internet, the district said it will provide printed activities at the student meal distribution sites during the meal pick-up times.
Parents who do not have technology at home can choose to pick up and check out a Chromebook from their child’s school between 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday. Parents will need to sign a waiver, and the district will use its library checkout process for Chromebooks. Checkout will take place through the front entrance of each school.
Fort Osage staff will work Monday, and district buildings will be open during normal school hours Monday for families to pick up medicine or personal belongings.
The Grain Valley district posted on its website Friday that it intends to continue classes unless ordered to close by the state or under advice from health officials.
“Today we are ensuring students and teachers take home with them any resources they may need to stay engaged with learning or teaching in an extended absence from school,” the district posted Friday. “We are prepared to share supplemental instructional resources with students and families in the event of an ordered closure, and are prepared to provide internet hotspots to families if needed.”
Lee’s Summit Schools posted on its website that it was preparing for virtual learning if necessary after spring break. Students and staff were reminded to take home technology, chargers, school supplies and personal items that might be needed after spring break.
• The Kansas City Public Library, whose 10 branches include Sugar Creek and Trails West on 23rd Street in Independence, announced a temporary closure of all libraries starting Monday. It points out that many of its resources are available online. Just use your library card.
• The Independence City Council candidate forum set for Tuesday night, sponsored by the Independence Chamber of Commerce and The Examiner, has been canceled.