The Examiner 20 Dec, 2020 04:00 am

Independence School District Blue Springs School District Grain Valley School District Fort Osage School District

The Blue Springs School District will hire 16 additional elementary and middle school teachers for next semester, as a number of elementary students will shift from virtual to in-person learning and the district wants to reduce the number of middle school staff doing both virtual and in-person teach

But across the board they say they continue to see limited or no spread of COVID-19 cases within school buildings, and they continue to offer full virtual learning as an option for the second semester.Ten new middle school teachers will allow the district to have more staff handling just virtual learning classes.The district has used virtual learning for all students in grades 6 through 12 since Thanksgiving due to increased staff absences from infections or quarantines.Last month, as some districts around the metro area shifted to virtual learning, Fort Osage leaders said they did not plan to do so unless some factors greatly change.

“A decision to transition to all virtual learning is based on the number of active cases in schools, number of student and staff quarantines and substitute teacher fill rates,” the district said in a message to families.Deputy Superintendent Brad Welle said that decision would be based on low in-school transmission and the desire to give students direct daily access to teachers even through virtual learning – something that had been limited in the hybrid model.

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