KEARNEY – On May 21, Kearney Public Schools students and teachers will officially close out of the 2019-2020 school year. Kent Edwards, KPS Superintendent states, “This past few months, the Bearcat Diner staff fed thousands each week, maintenance crews disinfected our schools to keep COVID-19 at bay, teachers became Zoom stars, social workers served needy families, parents turned into e-learning experts and all of us worked together to defeat a common enemy…or at least subdue it.”
According to Edwards, the summer at KPS will also be affected by COVID-19. The district is being cautious on behalf of students and families canceling summer programs or holding them virtually. “Notably and regrettably, KHS graduation will be held virtually,” said Edwards. The video of KHS graduates walking across the stage to receive diplomas, along with graduation speeches and performances, will be released on Friday, June 19, 2020.
Kearney High School is asking the public to help honor the KHS Class of 2020 with a city-wide BLUE OUT on June 19. “We are encouraging Kearney to wear blue, make your porch light blue, chalk your walks blue, tie a blue ribbon around trees and light poles, and let graduates know you care,” stated Dr. Chris Loofe, KHS Principal.
Canceled KPS Summer Programs include the Bearcat Scholars Program, KCLC, the KPS Migrant Program, and the Sixpence (Daycare) Program.
Virtual KPS Summer Programs will include Extended School Year Services for 3-21 as per an IEP, Birth-3 Continuous Services as per IFSP, KHS Credit Recovery, KHS Summer PE, and the Reading Improvement Act program.
The Bearcat Diner Grab & Go program will continue throughout the summer. (Closed Memorial Day) “Especially in these times, we want to make sure that our students have a good breakfast and lunch,” stated Edwards.
What happens this fall?
“Everyone is interested in our fall plans,” states Edwards. “Our next step in this pandemic is to study when and how the 2020-2021 school year will start.” KPS is studying and planning for many different scenarios including a traditional school year, a traditional school year with a modified calendar, an e-Learning start, a hybrid of e-Learning and physical attendance, and a staggered attendance where students attend on alternate days to keep below state-mandated numbers. Inevitably, these decisions will be guided by and aligned with recommendations from state and local leaders.
“We just don’t know what the pandemic will do or what the state will mandate,” said Edwards. “We are hoping for a normal school opening and planning for all other scenarios.”