$1 for 3 months. Save 94%.
$1 for 3 months. Save 94%.

Shawnee Schools announce three education pathways for students

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
SPS Education Plans

Students and teachers of Shawnee Public Schools are scheduled to begin their 2020-2021 school year Thursday, August 13 and students will have three different options regarding what their education looks like this school year.

According to Superintendent Dr. April Grace, the district is offering three different education pathways for students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grace said all students enrolled are automatically enrolled in the first education option which is a "traditional classroom learning pathway with digital learning days."

In this option, Grace said students will remain SPS students and they will have in-person social interactions with their peers and staff.

Students, Grace said, will also have immediate access to the district's learning resources such as libraries and other materials.

"SPS will utilize technology and the Internet to connect all teachers, students and parents for seamless learning transitions," Grace said.

In addition, students will have 24-7 online access to submitted or graded assignments, can participate in school-sponsored athletic and fine arts programs and will have free transportation to and from school.

Lastly in this option, Grace said those students participating in this pathway will be prepared to transition to digital days if schools need to shut down again.

"Digital Learning days are also available to individual students if needed. This is a joint decision between the school and the individual families," Grace said.

Grace said the second pathway is virtual and online learning for students pre-K through 12th grade who wish to continue their distance learning.

Students and parents who choose this option, Grace said, should contact the Shawnee Virtual School Coordinator.

In this pathway, Grace said students can access their lessons anywhere, will have a flexible work schedule, have a plan specific to them and have 24-7 online access to assignments.

Grace said students will be supervised by SPS certified teachers, regular communication between parents and teachers will be available, technology and Internet access will be provided, students will be able to participate in school-sponsored athletic and fine arts programs and will have access to all school services.

The final educational pathway only applies to high school students, Grace said, as it is a "personal hybrid pathway."

Grace said this option is a blend of on-site and online classes for grades nine through twelve.

"Students enrolled in Options (Two and Three) are expected to be independent learners," Grace said. "Support and supervision are provided, but parents (and) guardians are essential partners in the success of each student."

According to SPS Public Information Officer Cherity Pennington, while the district has educational plans available for students, other aspects regarding a mask mandate and social distancing policies are still being discussed.

"We do not have all the answers yet. We continue to have communication with state and local officials and we anticipate further guidance, which will help us provide more detailed information soon," Pennington said.

For more information visit