empty playground

Johnson County Schools will not reopen this school year. Administrators made the announcement Friday afternoon.

Bulletin photo by Stephen Dow

Students to finish 2019-20 online

In an-email to district parents on Friday afternoon, Superintendent Jim Wagner announced that the Johnson County School District will not reopen this spring. Students will continue online instruction through the end of the 2019-20 school year.

The decision is based on recommendations from county Health Officer Dr. Mark Schueler and State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist regarding the ongoing health concerns related to COVID-19, Wagner said.

On April 23, Gov. Mark Gordon announced in a press conference that all school districts must develop a “re-entry plan” specifying how they will protect the health of students and staff when school re-opens. Before school can reopen, the re-entry plan needs to be approved by the county public health officer.

Wagner said that the district is currently working with Johnson County Public Health to develop the district’s re-entry plan, but the plan will not be completed by the end of the current school year.

At the same time, the district is also developing a plan for a “slow opening” of the district in which “a very small number of intentionally targeted groups of students” in need of in-person instruction will be invited back to school for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, Wagner said.

“We will continue to keep the health and safety of our students, staff and community as a top priority,” Wagner said.  “We will continue to work with our local Public Health Office in order to ensure any plans to return students and staff to school will be designed in such a way as to protect the health and safety of all involved.”

Editor's note: This is a developing story. 

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