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COVID-19: Update (3/17/2020)

March 17, 2020


USD 470 Families,


Today, March 17, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly announced all accredited schools will close for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This action is in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. 


We know that closing our schools causes significant challenges to Kansas families. USD 470 is committed to continuous learning while maintaining health and safety as the top priority. We also recognize the emotional impact on students and staff members who were looking forward to completing this school year together in person.


Though school buildings are closed, unique learning opportunities are being designed and once complete will be implemented to ensure continuous learning for each student for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The Kansas State Department of Education formed a task force of professional educators to create a continuous learning plan. That plan should be released tomorrow, March 18, and will include guidelines for the district.


This is a difficult situation and we appreciate your patience as we navigate it together. We are confident our team will have a quality continuous learning plan established for our students within the next two weeks. In the meantime, communication will be a top priority. There are a lot of questions we are seeking answers to but here is what we know right now:


  • We are not in this alone. The executive order affects all accredited schools across the state of Kansas.

  • Students WILL continue to learn this school year - just not in the traditional format.

  • Free meals will continue to be provided to any child age 1-18.

  • We are developing a plan for our senior class.

  • All school activities and athletics are canceled for the remainder of this school year.

  • The deep cleaning/disinfecting of all schools and buses is underway and will continue.

  • Though assignments may look different, ALL USD 470 employees will continue to be paid.


As a reminder, this school closure is in response to the current public health crisis. The focus should remain on limiting the spread of COVID-19.


Please continue to stay informed and practice the following:


  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing (cough/sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue).

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.


Again, we appreciate your patience and support. Our ability to work together for the children in our community is our greatest strength.




Ron E Ballard

Superintendent of Schools