Mar 25, 2020 12:00 PM

USD 428 Superintendent: ‘School districts are not known to pivot that fast, but somehow we are’

Posted Mar 25, 2020 12:00 PM
Teachers at Riley Elementary School in Great Bend display a message to students during the school closure.
Teachers at Riley Elementary School in Great Bend display a message to students during the school closure.

By COLE REIF
Great Bend Post

USD 428 Superintendent Khris Thexton says information about the Great Bend school district’s approach for the next eight weeks of school is currently changing daily.

The closing of all school buildings in Kansas to stop the spread of COVID-19 is far from ideal, but USD 428 staff is making the best of the situation with a plan in place to continue learning for all K-12 students.

Thexton says those students and families that have access to internet can virtually obtain their lessons and those without internet or unreliable online resources will have access to the paper/pencil packets.

"We have a lot of families with parents working or an older sibling is watching the younger ones," said Thexton. "We want to be flexible and we do not want this to be a burden."

Continued learning at the elementary schools will focus on reading, writing, and math. At the middle school and high school levels, there will be a broader focus on English, math, social studies and science.

"This is a trying time," Thexton added. "There are a lot of unknowns out there. We want to try to reduce as much anxiety as possible."

While a lot of the learning responsibility will fall on the student, parent or guardian, USD 428 teachers will be available to assist learning via phone, email, and even video conference.

The weekly paper/pencil lessons will be available to be picked up at the beginning of the week during the free lunch pickup times at school sites from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"The main pickup for the packets will be during the lunch time," Thexton said. "If a parent cannot make that time frame, we will make sure we get those packets to them even if we have to drop it in mail."

USD 428 sent out surveys to all district families to determine what their needs are to make this continued learning work which begins March 30.

"We will make the accommodations to help kids get the information they need for this plan."

Hear the entire interview with Thexton and Assistant Superintendent John Popp from this week's edition of Room 428 that aired on 1590 KVGB & 95.5 FM March 24.

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Mar 25, 2020 12:00 PM
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