Shawnee school district planning for next year

Elisabeth Slay

Shawnee Public School Superintendent Dr. April Grace released a statement video Monday informing students, parents and the community of the district's current plan for next school year.

According to Grace, Shawnee Public Schools is looking at a variety of options pertaining to next year and the possibility of students returning to school.

"For now, we are looking at a regular entrance back into school in August. However, that entrance may take many different forms," Grace said. "There is so much we simply do not know yet; it is still too early to tell."

Grace explained Shawnee will continue to work with state health officials and other school districts to determine the best plan of action going forward.

"We will also be exploring Internet access and device access opportunities for our students," Grace said. "Our number-one goal is making sure we can keep everyone safe and healthy as we re-enter back into school."

The superintendent said the district will offer online schooling to students who may not want to return to physical classes due to COVID-19 concerns.

"We do offer Shawnee Virtual Academy should you need to choose that option for your family or your student," Grace said. "Our virtual academy is a way for students to still be part of our extracurricular activities, our tutoring services and many of the other services we provide at (SPS)."

Grace said the district is planning several activities for its seniors in the new future including a graduation parade and virtual ceremony Monday, May 18.

"Please check our website, social media and your email accounts for information about these activities," Grace said. "Those are the same ways we will continue communicating with you throughout the summer as our plans continue to evolve regarding the next school year."

Overall, Grace said while SPS wants students to be able to return, the district must monitor the pandemic and find the best option to keep everyone safe.

"Please know that we are planning with you in mind and that we are looking forward to having everyone back together again," Grace said. "We want to make sure we move forward with the new school year in a measured and meticulous way...For now, stay safe, stay healthy and stay Shawnee STRONG."