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Back-to-School Information

Email sent to parents on Aug. 10, 2020

Wildcat Family - 


First, thank you to everyone for submitting your choice for your students’ first semester learning. We know it was a difficult decision, but once again we want to emphasize our commitment to all our students and families whatever option you chose. We had 75% of students choose in-person and 25% chose virtual.


Now, we are working to realign all in-person classes, K-12, to ensure consistent class sizes and adjust courses based on our classroom size and overall facilities.  We appreciate your patience as we work through this.


We know that you still have a lot of questions…

Will there be a Meet the Teacher Night?

When will we know our student’s teacher/schedule?

How do we choose/get our virtual learning courses?

When will Chromebooks be handed out to virtual learners?

What will the health & safety protocols look like in our schools?

What about school supplies?


We are working on answers to all of these.  What we know right now is that we plan to email all K-5 parents on Wednesday with Meet the Teacher plans, as well as class placement information.


HMS & HHS plan to send emails with a lot of back to school information on Wednesday as well.


School supply lists for in-person learning are available on the district website & app. Here’s the direct link - There is not a supply list for high school as teachers will let students know if they need anything specific once school begins.  Middle school teachers may also have a few specific supplies.


For virtual learning, basic school supplies such as pencils, paper, and crayons & scissors (for elementary) should be all that is needed.


Each building will have virtual learning coordinators and each building will be sending an email with virtual learning information to those families this week.


We’re also working on a few videos to show you what in-person school will look like when your student returns on August 24. Our plan is to post those videos beginning next week on both our district Facebook page ( and on our website -


Finally, we have a few requests of families…

  • Please talk to your child(ren) about wearing a face covering; also practice putting on the face covering and removing it - we’ve attached a couple of infographics that outline some ideas
  • Practice washing hands properly - 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday, ABCs or our fight song) 
  • Please talk to your child(ren) about social distancing - what it means, why it’s important, and how they can greet their friends from afar (waves, thumbs up, air high fives, etc)


Despite the continued uncertainty, we are focused on ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff and providing the best possible learning experiences. We appreciate your continued support and we will do all we can to support you. Our success will depend on everyone in our community sharing responsibility in our collective health and well-being.


Paul Mensching


Email sent to parents on July 30, 2020

Wildcat Family - 

Based on some questions we’ve received, we wanted to provide clarification and additional information on our face covering guidelines for back-to-school.  Per the plan sent yesterday….

“Students & staff will wear a face covering when 6’ social distancing isn’t possible (one-on-one/small group instruction, hallways, etc.) and when directed by a staff member.”

We wanted to make sure parents understand that 6’ social distancing may not be possible in all classrooms and/or classes. We will not be able to determine how many students are in each class and how classrooms can be set up until after August 5.

Some students - especially in the upper levels - may have to wear a face covering for a large portion of the day.  In situations in which face coverings must be worn for a long period of time, there will be breaks incorporated when students can remove the face covering.

We just wanted to provide you with more detailed  information as you make your choice regarding in-person or virtual learning for your student.  If you’ve already completed the Parent Choice form and would like to change your selection, please email me at

Jill Filer
Director of Communications

Email sent to parents on July 30, 2020 is located under Online Registration Information 

Email sent to parents on July 29, 2020

Wildcat Family -


We have spent a great deal of time the past two months considering what school will look like in the fall. We want to create a quality and meaningful learning experience for our students, while also making sure we maintain a safe learning environment.  I would like to personally thank the 30+ members of our Re-entry Task Force for their work over the last two months. We’d also like to emphasize that our Back-to-School Plan is a “living” document meaning that it will change as situations, circumstances, and public health guidelines change.


Harrisonville Schools will be providing two learning options for students to select from for this fall. We will offer an in-person and virtual learning program, both of which will begin on Monday, August 24. Parents are asked to review our complete plan which is attached or can be found at  Please look at each section of the plan.  On a laptop, the sections are in the left navigation of the page and on your mobile device, the sections should be listed at the top (scroll down to read the content of each section).  


We also ask that you review our frequently asked questions which are also attached or can be found at


If you have questions that are not answered in the plan or the FAQ, please use the form on the website to submit them (last item on the left navigation window - I have a question…). Our goal is to respond to questions within 24 hours.  Please know that we may not have answers to some questions at this time, but we will let you know either way and follow-up if/when we have answers.


After reviewing the plans, parents are asked to make a selection for your students of either in-person or virtual learning. You can complete the form here - or the form is also part of the Back-to-School area on the website which is linked above. This selection will need to be made by Wednesday, August 5 to help us in the planning process. The selection you are making for your student will be for the first semester, running August 24-December 23, 2020. You will need to complete one choice form for EACH student. So for example if you have three students you will need to submit three separate forms.


Despite the uncertain times and ever-changing situation, we are focused on ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff and providing the best possible learning experiences in the environment you feel is best for your student.  We appreciate your continued support and we will do all we can to support you - our families and students - throughout these challenging times.



Paul Mensching

Email sent to parents July 22, 2020
Wildcat Family -

We wanted to provide you with a timeline for information regarding back-to-school.  As mentioned in the family survey & Key News, the Board of Education will hear recommendations from the district’s Re-entry Task Force at its meeting next Tuesday night (7/28) as we plan for the first day of school on August 24.

On Wednesday morning (7/29), the district will email information on our Back-to-School Plan to all families.  The information will also be posted on the district website -

As we’ve said, there will be an option for in-person learning or virtual learning - both will be outlined in the plan.  There will also be a way for you to ask/submit questions once the plan is released and we will work to answer all questions within 24 hours of submission.

After reviewing the plans, parents will be asked to make a selection for their students of either in-person or virtual learning.  This selection will need to be made by Wednesday, August 5 to help us in the planning process. This will give us time to realign in-person classes to balance class sizes and work with those families who choose virtual to provide additional information to prepare for online learning.

Then the next day (Thursday, July 30), the district will provide all families with information on registration and residency verification for the 2020-21 school year.  ALL FAMILIES (in-person or online) will need to complete this process.  We will not be hosting the annual residency verification event, but have moved it all online.  Families will be able to complete the entire registration process including updating and verifying your current information and completing and “signing” all back-to-school paperwork through the Parent Portal.  We will provide additional instructions at that time.

A Parent Portal password mail will be sent in conjunction with the registration/residency information in case you’ve forgotten your password.  This email will come from

Back-to-School Info Timeline
Tuesday, July 28 - Board of Education hears Re-Entry Task Force recommendations

Wednesday, July 29 (morning) - Families receive email with Back-to-School Plan & form to select in-person or virtual learning for their child(ren) which is due Wednesday, August 5

Thursday, July 30 - Families receive an email with information & instructions on completing registration & residency online

Monday, August 24 - First Day of School

We truly appreciate your patience as we’ve worked to put plans together for back-to-school. There are still a lot of unknowns and things are changing daily, however, we will do our very best to provide you with information as it’s available and answer your questions as best as we can. Difficult decisions still lie ahead for all of us.  We ask that you continue to show grace and kindness to each other as we all move forward together.

Paul Mensching


From Key News, July 1, 2020
Superintendent provides update on re-entry task force's work
During last night's Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Paul Mensching provided an update on the district's re-entry task force's work over the last few weeks. He said that the district is "hoping for the best, but planning for the worst." The task force is made up of more than 30 staff members representing all buildings and all positions within the district.

He said that at this time, the district is planning to begin in-person school on August 24. The task force is working on recommendations to follow safety guidelines including hygiene protocol and social distancing as much as physical facilities will allow. He emphasized that the district will develop layers of protection such as PPE when necessary, pathways within the schools, limiting contact, regular hand washing, and increased disinfecting.

A virtual learning program will also be available for families who have health concerns. The task force is continuing to discuss virtual options to ensure the most effective way to deliver instruction online.

District staff recently completed a survey regarding their intentions and concerns as the start of school nears. The task force will take the feedback into consideration as they develop recommendations.

District families will also be asked to complete a survey to provide feedback in July. This feedback, along with guidance from the state which is scheduled to be released in July, will help finalize recommendations for re-entry. The Board of Education will hear the recommendations at its July 28 meeting.


From Key News, June 18, 2020
District Re-Entry Task Force working on plans for back-to-school
The Harrisonville School District has formed a task force to provide feedback to administration so that educated, informed, and well-thought out recommendations can be made to the Board of Education as we prepare for all scenarios of re-entry in the fall. The task force is made up of representatives from all buildings, various employee classifications, contracted services, and administrators. Additionally the task force will seek and use input from local, state, and federal entities. The district also plans to survey parents in July for their feedback and concerns. The guiding principles for the task force are…

  • The health & safety of our staff & students is our #1 priority & therefore we will do everything we can to follow local, state & CDC guidelines to the best of our ability.

  • In-person learning is the most effective form of learning. We want our students and staff in our schools. However, we also understand health concerns and will work to provide to meet all staff & students’ needs in the best way possible.

  • Hope for the best; plan for the worst. We must make contingency plans in case things happen that are out of our control to ensure learning continues for all students.

The task force discussion areas include health & safety (students and staff), academics, and physical/facilities. The plan is for the task force to provide recommendations to the Board of Education at the July meeting, however the board will receive updates on the task force’s work on a weekly basis.

A few steps that have already been taken include….

  • Inventory of and increasing the number of Chromebooks to ensure we have enough computers for each student to have his/her own device. This does not mean that devices will be coming home on a regular basis, but that each student will have a designated computer to use in class and if we need to move to online learning, we will have a device for each student to take home.

  • To ensure consistency for families with students in multiple buildings and to streamline our work, the district will also continue to use Google Classroom as it’s online learning platform.

  • Disinfection of all classrooms and buildings which will become an ongoing, regular process, in addition to the regular cleaning of classrooms and buildings.