Skip To Main Content
KCPS NEWS
Early College Academy Info Session

The KCPS Early College Academy is hosting an informational session about the program, eligibility requirements and the submission process. High school sophomores who are interested in this option should plan to attend this virtual meeting with their parents or guardians.

KCPS Hosting Two 'School Board School' Sessions in December

The Kansas City Public Schools Board of Directors (school board) will be hosting two “School Board School” virtual sessions for anyone interested in school board service. These sessions will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, and 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Teaching and Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic is a national crisis that poses a serious health risk for everyone. With this in mind, we will be moving forward with a phased back-to-school plan for the 2020-2021 year. This will start on Tuesday, Sept. 8 with 100 percent distance or virtual learning for all students. In-person classes will start for students in pre-K through grade 3 only after the number of COVID-19 cases in our community decreases for 14 days in a row. This phased-in process will be repeated for upper elementary, middle school and high school students. Our goal is to be back to 100 percent in-person learning when it is safe to do so.

KCPS Recommendation for SY 2020-2021

The decision to reopen our school buildings for in-person classes will be based on data and science. We will work closely with public health officials before re-opening any of our school buildings. This process will not follow any predetermined timeline but will rather evolve based on the status of the pandemic in our community. Our response will balance the need to protect public health and provide a public education.

Four Instructional Models

Teaching and learning in KCPS this year will involve four different models. Students and teachers will use these models based on the status of the pandemic and their grade levels:

Distance Learning – Teachers and students engage in classwork online using a variety of digital tools and applications, including Zoom and Google Classrooms. All classes will start with this model when classes begin on Sept. 8, 2020.

Blended Learning – Students have an “A/B” schedule, attending classes on campus for part of the week and doing distance learning for the other days.

In-Person Learning – Students and teachers engage in learning on campus every day that class is in session.

Virtual Learning – Students use digital tools and virtual platforms for self-paced teaching and learning through the Kansas City Virtual Academy (KCVA). Students and parents will be asked to commit to this option for the entire semester if they choose to enroll in this academy.

Instructional Model

Distance Learning vs. Virtual Learning

It’s easy to be confused by our use of the terms “distance learning” and “virtual learning.” The curriculum for both models is aligned to Missouri standards. Both models involving using digital tools and applications. Students using these models will be guided and supported by high quality teachers. There are, however, some important differences in these two instructional models. These distinctive features mean that each model is best suited for different types of students.

Distance Learning

  • Students who are enrolled in their Neighborhood or Signature School and engaging in distance learning are essentially engaging in a traditional public school class but doing all the classwork from home.
  • These classes will be led by the same teacher those students will have when we re-open our campuses.
  • The teachers will teach daily lessons at certain set times, track how well students are picking up the curriculum and provide support when and how it is needed.
  • Students in these classes will interact and collaborate with each other on a regular basis.

Virtual Learning

  • Students who enroll in the KCPS Virtual Academy (KCVA) will be using the virtual learning model of instruction. KCVA students have flexibility to engage with the curriculum at any time, day or night.
  • KCVA students will have the opportunity to engage in daily classroom activities, as their schedules allow.
  • KCVA students have an individualized intervention program.
  • KCVA students have a learning coach who works with the families to provide support, updates, information, and feedback on a consistent basis.
  • KCVA students are taught by certified KCPS teachers.
  • KCVA students will be allowed to participate in activities, sports, and other events through their Neighborhood Schools.
  • Recommend time needed for KCVA lessons and coursework:
Grade Recommended Hours Per Day Recommended Hours Per Week
K-3 3-4 15-20
4-12 4-5 20-25
Distance Learning vs Virtual Academy
Resources for Virtual and Distance Learning

Classroom layout/supplies

Distance Learning

  • Schools will distribute classroom supplies to families for students to be able to work from home
  • All students working virtually must have the needed technology, including a laptop computer and Internet access
  • Supplies could include: workbooks, books, notebooks, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, packets, etc. (based on each school and class supply list)
  • All reading resources will be available in both print and digital format
  • Teachers should utilize all digital apps that have been supplied by the district
  • Guidelines for length of instruction, amount of times required for teacher and student meetings, etc. will be established by the KCPS Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development Department (CIPD)

Blended Learning

  • Maintain spacing for reduced size of student groups
  • Follow routines for clean-up, especially high-touch areas in the classroom using district-provided supplies
  • Establish procedures for distribution and use of individual student supplies in the classroom setting
  • Create an at-home school supply list for each grade level for at-home instructional use
  • Procedures for technology usage should be in place for use in the classroom and at home
  • Laptop computers and Internet Wi-Fi hot spots will be provided as needed
  • Flexible seating should only be utilized if the same student will use the seating throughout the day
  • It is not recommended that there be any areas in the classroom that allow multiple opportunities for students to congregate due to safety and sanitation

In Person Learning

  • Set-up classrooms according to social distancing guidelines
  • Establish routines for sanitizing hands while entering and leaving classrooms
  • Establish routines for clean-up, especially high-touch areas in the classroom (cleaning items, hand sanitizer)
  • Establish classroom procedures for the distribution and use of supplies in the classroom
  • Consider individually stocked supply boxes, assigned to each student, in elementary schools
  • Middle and high school students carry daily supplies in backpacks
  • Flexible seating should only be utilized if the same student will use the seating throughout the day
  • It is not recommended that there be any areas in the classroom that allow multiple opportunities for students to congregate due to safety and sanitation

Virtual Learning

  • Schools will distribute classroom supplies to families for students to be able to work from home
  • All students working virtually must have the needed technology, including a laptop computer and Internet access
  • Supplies could include: workbooks, books, notebooks, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, packets, etc. (based on each school and class supply list)
  • All reading resources will be available in both print and digital format
  • Teachers should utilize all digital apps that have been supplied by the district
  • Guidelines for length of instruction, amount of times required for teacher and student meetings, etc. will be established by the KCPS Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development Department (CIPD)

Community building

Distance Learning

  • Daily, 20- to 30-minute community check-in via Zoom or Teams with the class teacher
  • Virtual check-in via a Google form (teacher can check these and reach out to students as needed)

Blended Learning

  • Daily community check-ins done in-person or via an approved virtual platform with the homeroom teacher, students in the classroom and students learning from home

In Person Learning

  • Daily community building with homeroom teacher
  • Daily check-in with teacher as students enter the classroom

Virtual Learning

  • Daily, 20- to 30-minute community check-in via Zoom or Teams with the class teacher
  • Virtual check-in via a Google form (teacher can check these and reach out to students as needed)

Lessons

Distance Learning

  • Teachers will provide a weekly overview of subject areas they will cover that week and an Encore app schedule
  • To demonstrate what they’ve learned, students in kindergarten-grade 2 will…
    • …take pictures of their work and upload it to the Seesaw app
  • To demonstrate what they’ve learned, students in grades 3-6 will…
    • …take short quizzes
    • …produce exit tickets
    • …produce short videos (via Flipgrid, for example)
    • …add short sticky note thoughts to Jamboard
    • …utilize Padlet to jot thoughts and/or links to their documents
    • …use a digital writing/learning journal
    • …use Bookmaker
  • Teachers will track student platforms and take screenshots to make directions clear with visuals that match exactly what they see

Blended Learning

  • Virtual Learning During A-B Day Schedules (classes held both at school and virtually during the week)
    • Teachers will create follow-up lessons to reinforce recent in-person lessons
    • Students join whole group lessons via Zoom or Teams
    • Teacher stays available during small group and independent time
  • Schools and classes will use curriculum that has been approved by CIPD
  • Teachers will use the “workshop” model, which means that students take a hands-on lead in their own learning
  • Students will remain in their seats during while working as a whole group or small group
  • One classroom work center will be assigned per student
  • There will be no activities requiring students to work together in person
  • Teachers and students will use a virtual platform for collaborative work

In Person Learning

  • Daily lessons as usual, following the class curriculum
  • Utilize workshop structure for lessons to ensure adequate time for small group instruction and remediation needed to support learning
  • Elementary school classes will begin the day with breakfast in the classrooms, followed by a “Do Now” lesson in Google Classrooms
  • In middle and high school classes, students will spend the first few minutes working on a “Do Now” lesson in Google Classrooms

Virtual Learning

  • Teachers will provide a weekly overview of subject areas they will cover that week and an Encore app schedule
  • To demonstrate what they’ve learned, students in kindergarten-grade 2 will…
    • …take pictures of their work and upload it to the Seesaw app
  • To demonstrate what they’ve learned, students in grades 3-6 will…
    • …take short quizzes
    • …produce exit tickets
    • …produce short videos (via Flipgrid, for example)
    • …add short sticky note thoughts to Jamboard
    • …utilize Padlet to jot thoughts and/or links to their documents
    • …use a digital writing/learning journal
    • …use Bookmaker
  • Teachers will track student platforms and take screenshots to make directions clear with visuals that match exactly what they see

Platform

Distance Learning

  • Grades K-2: Seesaw
  • Grade 3-12: Google Classroom
  • Encore: classrooms where assignments are grouped together

Blended Learning

  • Grades K-2: Seesaw
  • Grades 3-12: Google Classroom

In Person Learning

  • Grades K-2: Seesaw
  • Grades 3-12: Google Classroom

Virtual/Distance Learning

  • Grades K-2: Seesaw
  • Grade 3-12: Google Classroom
  • Encore: classrooms where assignments are grouped together

Formative assessment

Distance Learning

  • Teachers can create opportunities for virtual "exit tickets" and check-ins throughout the quarter and adjust instruction, small groups and assignments based on this feedback
  • Teachers will use Utilize Padlet, Flipgrid, Jamboard, Google forms, etc.
  • Teachers will consider how engaging and appealing each tool is for their unique students when deciding what to use in classes

Blended Learning

  • Teachers can create opportunities for virtual "exit tickets" and check-ins throughout the quarter and adjust instruction, small groups and assignments based on this feedback
  • Teachers will use Utilize Padlet, Flipgrid, Jamboard, Google forms, etc.
  • Teachers will consider how engaging and appealing each tool is for their unique students when deciding what to use in classes

In Person Learning

  • Teachers can create opportunities for virtual "exit tickets" and check-ins throughout the quarter and adjust instruction, small groups and assignments based on this feedback
  • Teachers will use Utilize Padlet, Flipgrid, Jamboard, Google forms, etc.
  • Teachers will consider how engaging and appealing each tool is for their unique students when deciding what to use in classes

Virtual Learning

  • Teachers can create opportunities for virtual "exit tickets" and check-ins throughout the quarter and adjust instruction, small groups and assignments based on this feedback
  • Teachers will use Utilize Padlet, Flipgrid, Jamboard, Google forms, etc.
  • Teachers will consider how engaging and appealing each tool is for their unique students when deciding what to use in classes

How will teachers provide feedback to students and parents regarding the student's learning?

Orientation

Distance Learning

  • Teachers will provide a weekly overview of subject areas they will cover that week and an Encore app schedule
  • To demonstrate what they’ve learned, students in kindergarten-grade 2 will…
    • …take pictures of their work and upload it to the Seesaw app
  • To demonstrate what they’ve learned, students in grades 3-6 will…
    • …take short quizzes
    • …produce exit tickets
    • …produce short videos (via Flipgrid, for example)
    • …add short sticky note thoughts to Jamboard
    • …utilize Padlet to jot thoughts and/or links to their documents
    • …use a digital writing/learning journal
    • …use Bookmaker
  • Teachers will track student platforms and take screenshots to make directions clear with visuals that match exactly what they see

Blended Learning

  • Discuss any changes to building/classroom routines and procedures due to our COVID-19 response policies and procedures (“Mask On, Clean Up, Stay Safe”)
  • Provide schedules and training for students and parents on the blended learning structure
  • Provide time for parents to learn about Google Classroom and Seesaw as well as other instructional resources that students will be using
  • Provide parents with informational sessions from each grade level regarding the expectations for in-person and virtual learning
  • Teachers will follow CIPD curriculum and policies as students master content through a combination of in-person and virtual classwork

In Person Learning

  • Discuss any changes to building/classroom routines and procedures due to our COVID-19 response policies and procedures (“Mask On, Clean Up, Stay Safe”)
  • Provide schedules to parents and explain the need to follow these “Mask On, Clean Up, Stay Safe” policies and procedures
  • Provide time to familiarize parents and students with either Seesaw or Google Classroom platform and our expectations for using them
  • Provide parents with information about how we are incorporating last year’s fourth-quarter standards into this year
  • Make sure parents understand the importance of their child attending school
  • Teachers are being provided with training to use a variety of digital tools to create activities for online learning

Virtual Learning

  • Teachers will provide a weekly overview of subject areas they will cover that week and an Encore app schedule
  • To demonstrate what they’ve learned, students in kindergarten-grade 2 will…
    • …take pictures of their work and upload it to the Seesaw app
  • To demonstrate what they’ve learned, students in grades 3-6 will…
    • …take short quizzes
    • …produce exit tickets
    • …produce short videos (via Flipgrid, for example)
    • …add short sticky note thoughts to Jamboard
    • …utilize Padlet to jot thoughts and/or links to their documents
    • …use a digital writing/learning journal
    • …use Bookmaker
  • Teachers will track student platforms and take screenshots to make directions clear with visuals that match exactly what they see

Feedback to students

Distance Learning

  • Teachers will provide comments on student classwork via Google Classroom or Seesaw
  • CIPD will create clear guidelines for teacher feedback
  • If an assignment is due with a deadline, students should know when to expect feedback in order to revise their work or reply
  • Teachers should accept assignments past the due date, keeping in mind that not all students can complete assignments within a given window
  • Schools can determine expectations for feedback from teachers to students based on number of the students being taught
  • Teachers should respond within 24 hours to student questions, comments and concerns about a given assignment
  • Teachers should utilize their planning time as much as possible to review student work a little bit each day
  • Grades are one aspect of feedback, and students should be given multiple opportunities to show mastery and improve grades as needed

Blended Learning

  • Teachers will submit daily responses to Google Classroom and Seesaw. This will prepare students for the possibility of moving to blended or virtual learning as the need arises
  • Teacher feedback will be constructive and instructive so that it is meaningful and supports student learning
  • The use of data notebooks will transition from hardcopies to digital versions that are easily accessible for students and parents
  • Face-to-face feedback via Zoom or Teams will be provided for individual students needing further instruction to master specific skills

In Person Learning

  • Teachers will submit daily responses to Google Classroom and Seesaw. This will prepare students for the possibility of moving to blended or virtual learning as the need arises
  • Teacher feedback will be constructive and instructive so that it is meaningful and supports student learning
  • The use of data notebooks will transition from hardcopies to digital versions that are easily accessible for students and parents

Virtual Learning

  • Teachers will provide comments on student classwork via Google Classroom or Seesaw
  • CIPD will create clear guidelines for teacher feedback
  • If an assignment is due with a deadline, students should know when to expect feedback in order to revise their work or reply
  • Teachers should accept assignments past the due date, keeping in mind that not all students can complete assignments within a given window
  • Schools can determine expectations for feedback from teachers to students based on number of the students being taught
  • Teachers should respond within 24 hours to student questions, comments and concerns about a given assignment
  • Teachers should utilize their planning time as much as possible to review student work a little bit each day
  • Grades are one aspect of feedback, and students should be given multiple opportunities to show mastery and improve grades as needed

Feedback to families

Distance Learning

  • Teachers will use weekly newsletters to communicate with parents/guardians
  • Teachers will invite parents/guardians to be members of the Google Classroom platform, where they can set up their notifications regarding their child's curriculum and assignments

Blended Learning

  • Teachers will provide weekly communication with parents/guardians via email or text about classroom news
  • Teachers will communicate with parents/guardians individually if a problem arises regarding instruction or missing work. This communication needs to happen as soon as the concern arises

In Person Learning

  • Teachers will provide mid-quarter and quarterly feedback and grade reports to parents/guardians using either email or Google Voice
  • Schools will ensure that teachers have accurate emails and phone numbers for parents/guardians
  • Teachers will communicate with parents/guardians as needed if there is a challenge regarding instruction or attendance. This communication needs to happen as soon as the concern arises
  • Teachers will inform parents/guardians that they can also see teacher/student feedback via Google Classrooms or Seesaw
  • Teachers will provide parents/guardians with expectations for students regarding the types and amount of online classwork they will be expected to complete at home

Virtual/Distance Learning

  • Teachers will use weekly newsletters to communicate with parents/guardians
  • Teachers will invite parents/guardians to be members of the Google Classroom platform, where they can set up their notifications regarding their child's curriculum and assignments

School Communication Teams

Every school will establish a communications team that will support teachers as they engage with students, parents/guardians and other family members. This team may include the principal and other school leaders, school secretary, social worker, guidance counselor, nurse, classroom support staff, etc. Team responsibilities will include providing technology support before students and parents/guardians are referred to the central office.

Team Process

  • When a teacher has reached out to parents/guardians regarding a student but is not successful in supporting or reaching them, the teacher should complete the online “Virtual Learning Communication Outreach Form”
  • The School Communications Team will have a point person to monitor requests for support from teachers and then refer those requests to other team members to contact the family
  • The form compiles the time and date of the request and keeps track of student and teacher needs in a spreadsheet form
  • The team will designate a member to follow-up on the issue and make sure it is resolved in a timely and satisfactory manner
  • Team members may use other forms of engagement as needed with students and parents/guardians

How will teachers differentiate instruction for students?

Engagement

Distance Learning

  • Allow students to access videos in addition to, or instead of, just reading text
  • Post lessons in Google Slides or hyperdocs format and try to limit the number of additional attachments to assignments
  • Give students the opportunity to engage in multiple discussions
  • Provide multiple pages in Jamboard or options in Flipgrid or Padlet
  • Allow students to engage in breakout rooms or other whole group discussions
  • Teachers will use a "flipped classroom” approach for virtual learning in order to more accurately predict how long it will take students to master each lesson. That means teachers will ask:
    • What can be taught and learned virtually prior to a respective lesson?
    • What has to be taught with teacher guidance?

Blended Learning

  • Whole-group mini-lessons using best practices, including “think-pair-share,” visual (nonlinguistic) representations, modeling, culturally-responsive lessons, goal setting, collaboration, questioning, scaffolding, etc.
  • Allow students to access videos of the reading passage in addition to, or instead of, just reading text
  • Give students the opportunity to engage in multiple discussions
  • Provide multiple pages in Jamboard or options in Flipgrid or Padlet
  • Allow students to utilize technology-enhanced tools to complete assignments
  • Teachers will engage students using virtual platforms for discussions, collaboration and assessment of learning
  • Small groups discussions will be done with technology, or students may sit at kidney tables with proper social distancing and face masks for protection

In Person Learning

  • Whole-group mini-lessons using best practices, including “think-pair-share,” visual (nonlinguistic) representations, modeling, culturally-responsive lessons, goal setting, collaboration, questioning, scaffolding, etc.
  • Allow students to access videos of the reading passage in addition to, or instead of, just reading text
  • Give students the opportunity to engage in multiple discussions
  • Provide multiple pages in Jamboard or options in Flipgrid or Padlet
  • Allow students to utilize technology-enhanced tools to complete assignments

Virtual Learning

  • Allow students to access videos in addition to, or instead of, just reading text
  • Post lessons in Google Slides or hyperdocs format and try to limit the number of additional attachments to assignments
  • Give students the opportunity to engage in multiple discussions
  • Provide multiple pages in Jamboard or options in Flipgrid or Padlet
  • Allow students to engage in breakout rooms or other whole group discussions
  • Teachers will use a "flipped classroom” approach for virtual learning in order to more accurately predict how long it will take students to master each lesson. That means teachers will ask:
    • What can be taught and learned virtually prior to a respective lesson?
    • What has to be taught with teacher guidance?

Small Group instruction

Distance Learning

  • Small group instruction is expected during virtual learning but will be customized based on the unique needs of each student and set to a predictable schedule
  • Teachers will use breakout rooms and leveled texts for whole-group Zoom lessons
  • English Language Learner and Special Education teachers will conduct small group lessons according to student needs and have a schedule based on student mastery and needs
  • English Language Learner and Special Education teachers will plan for flexible group lessons that may be required for students as new content is presented

Blended Learning

  • Teachers will submit daily responses to Google Classroom and Seesaw. This will prepare students for the possibility of moving to blended or virtual learning as the need arises
  • Teacher feedback will be constructive and instructive so that it is meaningful and supports student learning
  • The use of data notebooks will transition from hardcopies to digital versions that are easily accessible for students and parents
  • Face-to-face feedback via Zoom or Teams will be provided for individual students needing further instruction to master specific skills

In Person Learning

  • Small group instruction will take place, but will be customized based on the unique needs of each student
  • Students will use learning stations that do not move (i.e. iReady, Imagine Learning, Prodigy, Epic, Newsela, etc.) when they are not meeting with the teacher
  • Teachers will use Zoom or other virtual meeting platform to provide small group instruction for students that need more support, unless it can be done in-person while social distancing
  • Teachers will meet with their tier 2 and 3 students at least three times a week
  • Teachers will require student responses to online Zoom lessons (using Flipgrid, Padlet, or Jamboard)
  • Specific student interventions will be based on data

Virtual Learning

  • Small group instruction is expected during virtual learning but will be customized based on the unique needs of each student and set to a predictable schedule
  • Teachers will use breakout rooms and leveled texts for whole-group Zoom lessons
  • English Language Learner and Special Education teachers will conduct small group lessons according to student needs and have a schedule based on student mastery and needs
  • English Language Learner and Special Education teachers will plan for flexible group lessons that may be required for students as new content is presented

Assignments

Distance Learning

  • Teachers will record directions, written text and other lesson materials
  • Teachers will create individualized learning plans that allow students to work at their own pace
  • Teachers will post video lectures, read-aloud videos, mini-lessons, etc. on YouTube
  • Teachers will provide a variety of articles from Newsela, DiscoveryEd, Epic, blogs or websites that center around the same concept for knowledge acquisition and allow students to choose which pieces they will read and respond to
  • Tiered assignments will be created to support a variety of learning styles
  • Students will be encouraged to write papers or create videos using Movie Maker, Screen-o-Matic, or other video software to demonstrate content mastery
  • Students will be encouraged to work collaboratively on projects
  • Assignments will mirror real-world, career-specific tasks
  • Students will be allowed to demonstrate content mastery through blog posts

Blended Learning

  • Assignments will be manageable, small and skill-specific
  • Assignments will be connected to class instruction
  • Assignments will reinforce, practice or assess lessons learned by the entire class

In Person Learning

  • Students will be provided meaningful assignments to be graded in accordance with the KCPS policy

Virtual Learning

  • Teachers will record directions, written text and other lesson materials
  • Teachers will create individualized learning plans that allow students to work at their own pace
  • Teachers will post video lectures, read-aloud videos, mini-lessons, etc. on YouTube
  • Teachers will provide a variety of articles from Newsela, DiscoveryEd, Epic, blogs or websites that center around the same concept for knowledge acquisition and allow students to choose which pieces they will read and respond to
  • Tiered assignments will be created to support a variety of learning styles
  • Students will be encouraged to write papers or create videos using Movie Maker, Screen-o-Matic, or other video software to demonstrate content mastery
  • Students will be encouraged to work collaboratively on projects
  • Assignments will mirror real-world, career-specific tasks
  • Students will be allowed to demonstrate content mastery through blog posts

Family Coaching

Distance Learning

  • Teachers and each School Communications Team will coach parents/guardians about how to support students with foundational classroom skills and learning strategies
  • Parents/guardians will be taught how to be teachers
  • KCPS will build a virtual-learning toolbox for families

Blended Learning

  • Teachers and each School Communications Team will provide support and guidance for parents/guardians as they help their children with classwork

Virtual Learning

  • Teachers and each School Communications Team will coach parents/guardians about how to support students with foundational classroom skills and learning strategies
  • Parents/guardians will be taught how to be teachers
  • KCPS will build a virtual-learning toolbox for families
Student on computer