USD 475

Over two days of meetings, representatives from the Junction City Education Association and Geary County Unified School District 475, discussed changes to the 2020-21 school calendar. The changes are needed, said Dr. Reginald Eggleston, district superintendent, to be sure all schools are ready for the upcoming school year.

“What I want to do is make sure that we give the district ample time to implement all of the safety measures that were presented (on July 20),” he said.

The school board meeting on July 20 discussed academic and COVID-19 related items including a USD475 Operations safety plan that covers things like busing, cleaning, food service and other important safety items.

 A plan was proposed of moving the start date for students to Aug. 31. With students required to have a total of 1,116 hours of learning time, that will make the last day of school June 10.

A concern was raised about if the schools are closed again and teachers had to go into online learning, if professional development days could be shifted closer to the start of the calendar to ensure teachers were prepared.

“Part of what we presented to the Board last week was trying to come up with potentially some days that have nothing to do with the calendar but adding a couple of training days,” Eggleston said. “Those would be called COVID-19 training days. They could actually come in and work with the building principals for those two days uninterrupted to talk about reopening plans, procedures, safety measures and even do some de-cluttering of their classrooms so that we can create that extra social distancing space.”

He said this would be good as many teachers haven’t been in their classrooms since March and it would give principals the opportunity to talk about certain procedures that would need to take place in the building.

After working through the needs of each level — elementary, middle and high school — a schedule was created that was agreed upon by members.  The new calendar will go before the Board of Education on July 28.

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