Governor Parson announces school closure order

1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 3:17:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
By: Daniel Perreault, KOMU 8 Reporter and Bill Finn, KOMU8 Digital Producer
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson announced the closure of public and charter schools for the rest of the academic year at a press conference on Thursday, April 9. 

The announcement comes amid COVID-19 concerns. 

Parson said the decision was made by working together with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and several superintendents from across the state. 

Parson believes schools should continue remote learning for their students until the end date previously set on their academic calendars. 

Schools will still provide services like meals to students who need them and alternative educational opportunities.

Missouri commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Margie Vandeven said the decision was made to protect the health and safety of students and teachers. Remote learning programs can vary across different school districts and parts of the state.

"We are simply asking our school leaders to continue to be creative, innovative and persistent in their pursuit to reach students with some kind of academic opportunity," she said. "We see some schools are delivering to the front doorsteps packages to students who may not have access to technology or the internet, while other teachers and students are learning to navigate video conferencing software to deliver and receive instruction."

The announcement by the Governor on Thursday raised a number of questions Vandeven said DESE is still working to answer. Among them: What about summer school? What does it mean for graduating seniors? What about those who do not have a reliable internet connection?

During Thursday's media briefing, the Governor expressed his sympathy to graduating seniors, noting his granddaughter is among the Class of 2020.

"I understand how disappointing this will be, to not be able to have that graduation ceremony," he said. "We will work with DESE, we will work with superintendents across the state, to make sure you get the opportunity to walk down that aisle and receive that diploma at some point."

Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said the district considered the possibility of an announcement like this when they released a revised alternative learning plan on Monday.

"While we had hoped that we might be able to return, obviously, it's in the best interest of public health and safety that we remain close," Baumstark said. "But we will continue with what we have in place with alternative methods of instruction and remote learning through the end of the school year."

Baumstark said CPS officials are still discussing what graduation will look like, but it will not take place as scheduled on May 22 and 23.

"We understand that it's an important rite of passage for our students and their families," she said. "So we're continuing to have those conversations and we want to be able to make that happen for them if we can."

Jefferson City schools released a statement on Thursday, following the announcement by Parson. 

The school district announced they will continue to provide instruction as they currently are through the remainder of the school year, which ends Tuesday, May 28. 

"In the coming days, JC Schools will continue to assess our methods for reaching and teaching our students outside of the classroom," the statement said. "Staff members will continue collecting feedback from students and families on a regular basis to ensure we are adapting to meet your needs."

The school district is currently planning on beginning summer school as scheduled on June 1. They will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and make decisions regarding summer school closer to that time. 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY — Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says the city is making sweeping changes in police procedures... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 9:52:00 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County reported a second death from COVID-19 Wednesday. The first death in the county was... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 5:10:42 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- As local leaders pick up the pieces and chart a path forward to deal with the widespread financial... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 4:58:00 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- 300 members of the Missouri National Guard were deployed to Washington, D.C. on Thursday to help local authorities... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 4:41:00 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – While people are marching and chanting across the world to fight against racism, University of Missouri’s Black students... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 4:34:00 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The oncology clinic at MU Women's and Children's hospital won't close after all, several sources told KOMU 8... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 4:08:00 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A petition to remove the Thomas Jefferson statue from the University of Missouri quad is gaining momentum with... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 2:25:00 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Students will be back in classrooms this fall after Lincoln University announced earlier this week that they... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 12:31:00 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
MINNEAPOLIS— NBC News is streaming George Floyd's memorial service at 1 p.m. Central Time. Floyd died in police custody... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 12:28:29 PM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Most of Google's US workforce has been working remotely since March due to the coronavirus. And last month,... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 11:30:08 AM CDT June 04, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Civil rights organizations on Wednesday called for the resignation of Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith,... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 8:23:02 AM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The MU Faculty Council voted against the recommendation to start the fall semester a week early at its... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 7:21:00 AM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
COOPER COUNTY - One man is dead after crashing his ATV in Cooper County on Wednesday night. According to... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 6:55:00 AM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts in the community. You... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 Thursday, June 04, 2020 6:19:00 AM CDT June 04, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page on Wednesday asked protesters who didn't wear masks or socially distance... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 9:53:18 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Over the past week, the Columbia community has created lists of local black-owned businesses to support all over... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 6:02:00 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The oncology clinic at the MU Women and Children's Hospital will be closing on July 31. Families of... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, June 03 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Wednesday, June 03, 2020 2:25:00 PM CDT June 03, 2020 in Continuous News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
12am 72°
1am 71°
2am 71°
3am 71°