ERIC SPRUILL

USD 413 Superintendent Dr. Kellen Adams issued an update to staff, students and community partners Monday morning before Governor Laura Kelly announced her executive order to delay schools until September 9.

Adams ensured that the order didn’t affect summer classes, summer practices or driver’s education.

“Right now, we are looking at a four-week delay before the school year starts, whereas we were originally looking at an Aug. 12 start date for the school year,” Adams said. “There is some fear and anxiety out there for some. The fiscal year still remains July 1 through June 30. We are going to have instruction days, it’s just a matter of when.

“The third topic I want all staff members to know, is we are going to continue to process payroll on the 10th of each month. I just want to reiterate that your check will continue to clear the bank, there are no cash flow issues here in USD 413 and we are fortunate for that. There are several districts in our area that are wondering how they will make through the next two months.”

All employees who are contracted will continue to receive paychecks.

“Some may say they don’t have a contract in their hand. That piece of paper doesn’t determine if you are under contract. There are two things that determine if you are contracted. The first is contract law, which is clearly bound under state statute, and the second is board action. So unless we filled your position, all contracts including supplemental will continue to be paid.”

Adams went on to say that as of Monday, no changes have been made to athletic activities. 

He also said he was aware of several other questions everyone had. 

“When will the first day of school be and when will the last day be? There are several of you who have the belief that the last day should be no later than Memorial Day. What will breaks look like? All of these questions are still unknown,” Adams said.

According to Adams, the district sent out questionnaires to parents of 1,850 students in the district about how they wanted to start the school year.

“We had 973 responses. The majority of parents wanted the school year to start out in class. The second choice was the hybrid model, where the students spend half the year here and half the year learning at home. Very few wanted to be online only,” he said.

Adams said that students will come first in the decision-making process as they go forward, followed by staff, parents, the community and the stakeholders.

“Whatever we choose has to meet current Board of Education policy,” Adams said. 

The district is expected to answer several questions for parents and students after administrators have time to digest Kelly’s executive order.

 

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