“We are ordering all Missouri public and charter schools to remain closed through the remainder of the academic year with the exceptions of nutrition services and child care that are outlined in our recent health order,” Parson said in a statement.
While the buildings are to be closed, schools are to still finish out the school year through remote learning options. All of Missouri’s public and charter schools shut their doors in mid-March, switching to remote learning. Seventeen other states, including Kansas, have made similar decisions.
“This recommendation was made by working together with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and several school superintendents from across the state – from both urban and rural districts,” Parson continued. “Schools should continue remote learning for their students until the end date previously set on their academic calendars.”
In a statement from DESE, Commissioner Margie Vandeven said the following:
“COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges for all of us and the education community is certainly no different. The recommendation made to Governor Parson today was not made lightly. This decision was made to continue protecting the health and safety of our students and school staff members. We know, maybe now more than ever, just how important our public schools are….how critical the services are that they provide their local communities….and how important the work is that our educators do each and every day for our children.
To reiterate what the Governor shared, school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the school year…but school services should continue through the last day of school in each school district, as pre-established by the school calendar approved by their local board of education. Those continued services include providing much-needed meals to the students who count on them…as well as alternative educational opportunities. We know remote teaching and learning looks different in every district across our state – so we are simply asking our school leaders to continue to be creative, innovative and persistent in their pursuit to reach students with some kind of academic opportunity.”
Missouri is currently under a stay-at-home order. The state has 3,539 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 77 people have died from it.