Wichita Public Schools to mail out learning packets, lock playgrounds amid coronavirus

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Wichita Public Schools will no longer be handing out paper packets for K-8 students, instead, those packets will go out by mail beginning next week.

Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson said the packet pickups were violating social distancing rules and the district wants students, parents and staff to be safe.

Dr. Thompson also announced the district would be locking all school playgrounds. Health officials have warned against children playing on playgrounds stating they could assist the spread of the coronavirus.

High school students will not receive paper packets. Thompson said the district will contact families who have identified a need through its internet and technology survey.

As always, the district to make sure students who need paper packet receive them, parents must make sure their contact information is up-to-date. You can do that HERE - just scroll to the bottom of the page and you will find the packets for each grade.

The continuous learning packets are also available for download on the district's website: Continuous Learning Opportunities


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Monday, March 30, 2020

Wichita Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson said Friday the district stands with parents and students during these difficult times as continuous learning plans begin.

Click to Download Continuous Learning Packets

"It is completely okay to be nervous about what's ahead. As long as you also keep in mind, that we will work through our nerves together. We will work through this uncertainty together. And we will succeed together," said Dr. Thompson.

Dr. Tiffanie Irving, Assistant Superintendant of Learning Services, detailed how the district will implement Phone One of the plan.

First, she said the district will freeze students' grades as of the end of the third quarter.

Paper packets were first handed out on Monday, March 30. They were available for pickup at all 18 Wichita Public Schools meal distribution sites, as well as at Christa McAuliffe, Gordon Parks, Horace Mann and Stucky. All high schools (including Chester Lewis) will only have high school packets.

Families also have the option to download the packets online usd259.org/wpslearn.

Pre-K-8 packets will be organized by grade level. High School packets will be organized by subject matter.

New packets will be handed out weekly and updated weekly online for the remaining eight weeks.

Following Monday's distribution, the district announced that all of its middle and K-8 schools will have expanded hours for the remainder of the week.

"Parents will be able to pick up packets for Pre-K, elementary, middle and/or high school from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 2 p.m," the district says. "Packets will be available outside of each building, and principals will monitor packet distribution."

The district says its distributing the same Week 1 packet each day this week (March 30-April 3).

"If you have already picked up your packet, you do not need to pick up a new one this week," the district says. "All district high schools, including Chester Lewis, will have the same expanded packet distribution hours. High schools will only have high school packets."

The district says if you have downloaded the packet from its continuous learning website, you do not need to pick up a printed packet, as the materials are the same.

You can learn more about continuous learning opportunities here: USD 259 Continuous Learning Program

Irving said during this time, an emphasis will be on helping high school students who are concerned about graduating, GPA and future scholarship opportunities.

Dr. Thompson said teachers will be reaching out to families over the next week. If you have not heard from your child's school, go to http://bit.ly/2tqyAfj for a walkthrough on how to update your information.

Parents with additional questions about packet distribution should call the continuous learning hotline at 316-973-4443 or email at homework@usd259.net.