Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that our families have questions regarding our Return to Learn plan, as this remains an extremely fluid situation with some parts of our plan to likely change in the midst of the 2020-2021 school year. Below, you will find several Frequently Asked Questions that have been captured. In addition, you will find a Frequently Asked Questions document that was released following the Return to Learn updates that were provided to families Friday, March 5, 2021 on the left hand column of this page, or simply by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I choose a learning platform for my child(ren) in the student census (face-to-face or virtual) and we would change our mind prior to the start of school, are we able to change our minds and do the other learning option?
While it is important for us to obtain valuable data with the student census for planning purposes (building capacities, staffing, etc.), we understand that circumstances with our families may change over the course of the several weeks leading up to the start of the school year. We are committed to working with families to ensure they are comfortable with the learning platform they choose. Families are encouraged to connect with their child's home school with questions.What happens when there is COVID-19 exposure?
We have detailed procedures in place in the event a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. We encourage families to view our COVID-19 Exposure and Symptom Protocols document, which can be accessed by clicking here. We are committed to remaining in close contact with the Clay County Public Health Center, Children's Mercy Hospital, and other local health officials throughout this pandemic.Is LPS offering district-provided transportation?LPS will provide transportation for students to and from school. An opt-in message was delivered to families earlier this summer for those needing district-provided transportation. With limitations on bus capacities expected, we are encouraging families who are able to do so, to transport their child(ren) to school. Buses will be sanitized following each route.What will social distancing look like for my child while at school?
Elementary Schools: The classroom layout will certainly look different when students return to school. At the elementary level, seating will be set up to allow for proper social distancing. All students will be facing toward the front of their respective classrooms. Non-essential furniture will also be removed from classrooms to allow for extra space. All of our individual schools will share with families additional details leading up to the start of school. In addition, an emphasis will be placed on keeping students' belongings separated. The sharing of school supplies and other items, such as electronic devices, books, and other equipment will be limited. Class time, passing periods/travel within buildings, lunch, and recess times will be staggered and/or spread out to additional available spaces to allow for social distancing to occur.
Secondary Schools: Beginning Monday, April 5, 2021, secondary schools will return all students to in-person learning that have selected this option. Following the most recent Full Opening Guidance for Schools released by the Clay County Public Health Center, our secondary sites will all distance as much as possible. In addition, bell schedules will be staggered to allow for less traffic during passing periods. Individual schools will communicate additional details, as we know that each school has its own unique layout.How much notice will be provided in the event LPS must transition to a different schedule/plan (ie: face-to-face/blended learning to all virtual)
These decisions would be made based upon guidance from the Clay County Public Health Center and the level of community spread of illness. We are committed to providing as much notice as possible while also ensuring that student and staff safety is our first priority. This may require an emergency shift in schedules: i.e. a rapid shift to District closure (virtual learning only) or in the event of local, stay-at-home orders, it could be necessary to protect the safety of our students and staff.Will LPS have the necessary supplies to support health and safety precautions?
Yes. LPS has ordered, and will regularly replenish, sanitation equipment for protection against COVID-19. These supplies include (but are not limited to) cloth face masks for staff, disposable face masks, N95 and KN95 masks for nurses, face shields, disposable gowns, disinfectant and cleaning supplies for classrooms, hand sanitizer, infrared thermometers, disposable gloves, and signage to communicate safety procedures and precautions.How will students safely transition throughout the building during passing periods, etc.?Planning work continues involving the many aspects of ensuring proper social distancing during the school day. Currently, families should expect class time, travel within the building, lunch and recess times to be staggered and/or spread out to alternate spaces to allow for social distancing. When students travel in the hallways, there will be visual aids to direct students throughout the building. These visual aids will illustrate directional traffic flow and appropriate spacing to support social distancing. Additional details and/or alterations to plans will be shared in the coming weeks.Virtual Learning QuestionsWill virtual learning in LPS look similar than it did in the spring following the extended school closure?
No. A tremendous amount of work has gone into enhancing the virtual experience by our Department of Innovation and Learning these past several months. Students will have much more of a regular schedule in which they will meet with teachers online, as opposed to just being assigned work. Teachers will work with students and provide them with assignments. We are committed to having more interactions with teachers and peers for the fall and more of a set schedule.Will virtual instruction take place with live lessons or recorded videos?Learning at home will include both live instruction and recorded videos. A daily schedule will include following a revised schedule that will be similar to a normal school schedule. There will be set schedule each day with times that a student will connect with each teacher. These connections might be a class discussion that lasts 30 minutes or a 15 minute lesson and then the student works on their own. Or they might connect with a student team online. Teachers can create short videos that students can use to remind them of concepts or techniques while they work on their own.At this time, the high schools have classes that are blended and include a mixture of face to face learning and virtual learning. The elementary and middle schools are investigating this possibility. Performance classes like choir will be offered virtually for students who need to learn from home.Can my child(ren) transition from the virtual to the face-to-face option in the middle of the school year?If a family initially chooses a virtual learning option for their child(ren), but then wants to transition back into the traditional face-to-face setting, we are asking that this be done following the quarter or semester period. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact your child's home school.If my child(ren) chooses virtual learning, can they participate in face-to-face school activities?Yes. Families would need to coordinate plans with their home school to participate. Additionally, any high school student interested in participating in a MSHSAA sanctioned activity is eligible if learning virtually.If my child(ren) chooses virtual learning, will they be required to take standardized tests?All virtual learners will be required to take the same standardized tests as face-to-face learners. Grades will also be required for coursework.Will the local career centers be open for high school students this fall?
Just like LPS, both the Excelsior Springs Area Career Center and the Platte County Northland Career Center are developing plans for reentry this fall. Specific details regarding their expectations can be found on their respective websites. Additional questions should be directed to high school counselors when they return to offices in early August.Can my child transition from face-to-face instruction to virtual instruction prior to the end of a quarter or semester?
Please know that the reason LPS is asking families to make a change in the way their child(ren) are being instructed at either a quarter or semester (high school) is due to the tremendous amount of pre-planning that must occur (building capacities, class sizes, staffing, etc.). If for some reason a child is not comfortable in a face-to-face instruction setting early in a semester, LPS is committed to working with families to allow for an earlier and seamless transition.I have an incoming kindergartner that is planning to do virtual learning to begin the 2020-2021 school year. What should we expect?Liberty Virtual School will be taught by virtual school only teachers dedicated and professionally developed to teach school online. There will be a designated virtual school schedule where students will "attend" school for six hours each day. Students will Zoom in to a virtual class several times each day and then work on lessons and projects in between. Learning content has been designed for online learning, and teachers will focus on using student evidence (projects and assignments showing teachers what they have learned) to measure learning. This model has proven to be incredibly successful in other online models that LPS has researched and are using to design our own programs. While we are currently designing the schedules for all our grades for Liberty Virtual School, we can provide an update as to how our plans are shaping up to look like. We are looking at blocks of time for instruction each day, two sessions in the AM and two in the PM of about 45-60 minutes each day, Monday through Friday.