COMMUNICATION FROM THE DISTRICT
BV UNMUTED: BACK TO SCHOOL CONVERSATION - JULY 31, 2020
Blue Valley staff and families,
We know that families have an important decision in front of them for the 2020-21 school year—In-Person Learning or VirtualED. As the VirtualED Aug. 5 registration deadline nears, we want to provide families another way to learn more about the learning options for the upcoming school year.
Grab your earbuds and tune into Blue Valley’s new podcast, BV unmuted, at www.bluevalleyk12.org/podcast. Podcast episodes will feature authentic conversations with the people who make up Blue Valley Schools. We’ll take a deeper look into the hot topics, common questions and community conversations happening in Blue Valley.
In the inaugural episode, Superintendent Tonya Merrigan visits with Deputy Superintendent Katie Collier, Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation Kelly Ott and Director of Facilities and Operations Jake Slobodnik about learning options for the 2020-21 school year and how the district is working to create safe learning and working environments for staff and students.
Want to learn even more about planning for the upcoming school year? Families can watch the free recording of Overland Park Chamber of Commerce’s Powerful Voices event which featured local superintendents, including Dr. Merrigan, discussing planning for the upcoming school year.
Do you have questions about the 2020-21 school year, In-Person Learning and VirtualED?
- Check out the district’s Back to School website
- Call your child’s school with In-Person Learning questions
- Call the Back to School hotline with questions about VirtualED or more general questions, 913-239-4045, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
Regardless of the learning option your family chooses, Blue Valley is committed to ensuring your child feels they belong and they feel safe socially, emotionally, and physically when they are within our care. We look forward to welcoming students to a new school year on Sept. 9!
Blue Valley Schools
MORE BACK TO SCHOOL DETAILS! - JULY 29, 2020
MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT TONYA MERRIGAN - JULY 22, 2020
Blue Valley families,
We have a great responsibility in front of us to provide a safe learning and working environment for our students and staff during the 2020-21 school year. While our Back to School plans have been informed by local, state and national health and education officials, our plan prioritizes what is most important for Blue Valley--the health of our students and staff.
We know that this school year will be unlike any other school year we’ve encountered. While this year will certainly look different, what remains the same is the opportunity to welcome 23,000 students to a new year, a Return to Learn.
We encourage families to intentionally schedule a time to thoughtfully and thoroughly review 2020-21 school year information below including:
- 2020-21 school year calendar update
- Back to School plan featuring In-Person Learning and VirtualED options
- Online registration information for families
- Feedback opportunities
As we know, this is a changing environment and our team is prepared to make adjustments to our plan as needed. Thank you for the patience and support you have shown this summer as our team worked tirelessly to develop a plan that prioritized the health and well-being of you and our students. Together, by taking steps to keep everyone healthy, we will get through this and provide a positive learning experience for the 23,000 students counting on us.
Dr. Tonya Merrigan
2020-21 School Year Calendar
We want to have the best possible start to this unprecedented school year. In order to do this, we need to delay the start of the school year until Wednesday, Sept. 9. The additional time will ensure our staff members have as much time as possible to prepare teachers and class schedules for VirtualEd and the many modifications to In-Person Learning, as well as to obtain essential products to keep students and staff safe while at school. We also know our families need time to thoughtfully consider the options available.
To accommodate this change to the first day of school, several adjustments were made to the 2020-21 calendar including:
- First day of school - Sept. 9
- Thanksgiving Break - Nov. 25-27
- Winter Break - Dec. 23 - Jan. 1
- Spring Break - March 18-19
- Last day of school - June 3 for grades EC-11 (1/2 day)
An updated copy of the 2020-21 calendar can be found online.
Back to School Plan
A Back to School plan was developed so families can make informed decisions on options for the 2020-21 school year. On the district’s Back to School website you can find all the details about the two Return to Learn options:
- In-Person Learning with modifications
- All-virtual option, VirtualED, designed and taught by Blue Valley teachers
Families should note that high school students may take advantage of flexibility already in our high school program that allows students to take a la carte virtual courses and attend school in-person. In addition to these options, if state or local officials would provide closure or occupancy guidance, our team is developing distance learning and adjusted daily schedule models.
While guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas State Department of Education has informed Blue Valley’s Back to School plan, the development of the plan is rooted in our commitment to ensuring each child feels they belong and they feel safe socially, emotionally, and physically when they are within the care of the Blue Valley School District.
Online registration is now open including the selection of In-Person Learning or VirtualED. This is the time for families who have not registered to complete registration and make their selection for the 2020-21 school year. It is also the time for families who have already registered and would like to elect VirtualED to make that selection. Registration for VirtualED will close on Aug. 5 to give adequate time to determine staffing and prepare for the school year.
Activities and Athletics
We realize activities and athletics are a significant part of the total educational experience available to students. We are waiting on additional guidance from the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) about activities and athletics for the 2020-21 school year. At this time, we will continue with voluntary outdoor summer conditioning. Any further updates about activities and athletics will come from school administrators.
We value your thoughts and questions about the Back to School plan and the 2020-21 school year. After families have thoughtfully reviewed all the information, we encourage you to: