Reopening Plan

School Reopening Plan

UPDATE - November 17, 2020

Listed below is a message from Dr. Snow on an important change affecting all students that will take effect beginning Wednesday this week. Additional information follows.

Message from Dr. Snow on 11/16/20:

“Good evening,

This is Marc Snow, Superintendent for Grain Valley Schools. I call you tonight with an important update that affects families at all of our schools.

Our ability to staff our schools and programs has only gotten worse since my letter to you last Thursday. Today, only 58% of our absences were filled by substitutes, down from 73% last week. The projected sub fill rates for the rest of this week does not show improvement. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily shift to 100% virtual for all schools beginning this Wednesday, November 18.

Elementary and early childhood students will return to in-person learning after Thanksgiving, but our middle schools and high school will remain 100% virtual through the Christmas Holiday. Middle school and high school students will return to the hybrid model beginning January 4.

Our Valley Kids program is available at Prairie Branch (for Prairie Branch and Matthews students) and at Sni-A-Bar Elementary (for Sni and Stony Point students) through Tuesday, November 24. This program is available for current Valley Kids families who absolutely rely on it, but we encourage families to utilize other daycare options if available.

The virtual instruction our students receive in the days and weeks ahead will look very different from what everyone experienced last spring. Our teachers have scheduled class times that students are expected to call into and the work students are engaged in will reflect the new content they would have been learning had they been in person.

This is not where we wanted to be and we did not want to go full virtual, but having so many staff out and with not enough subs, gives us little choice. We have held on as long as we could.

More details are being sent to families and staff in an email yet tonight and each family will receive their child’s virtual schedule from the school tomorrow.

Thank you for your patience with us during this time. We know our families are facing difficult challenges and I wish to assure you that our teachers and staff remain committed to working with you to continue to make the most of a tough situation.

Thank you and good night.”


  • Each school will share additional information with families tomorrow (Tuesday, 11/17) morning regarding what to expect during virtual instruction for Wednesday through Tuesday.
  • Tomorrow, elementary students will each be issued a Chromebook device for distance learning for November 18-24.
  • In-person tutoring at our middle schools and high school is canceled this week but will start again after Thanksgiving.
  • Middle school and high school students who participate in the Life Skills programs will continue with full in-person learning after Thanksgiving break.
  • Meals are available for any interested family, for pick up only from North Middle School on Pink Hill Road, Monday through Friday between 11:00-11:30. No delivery is available but families may designate someone else to pick up their child’s meals. You can sign up for meals using this form.
  • Extra-curricular activities continue.

UPDATE October 15, 2020: 
At their business meeting on October 15, 2020, the School Board voted to continue the hybrid model of instruction for students in grades 6-12 through 2nd quarter. The quarter runs through January 22.

Through the hybrid model, middle school and high school students attend school in-person two days each week and work on teacher-assigned learning tasks the other three days. This reduces class sizes by one-half and permits social distancing in most classes. Teachers set times for meetings with individuals and groups of students as needed. The hybrid model is a compromise between traditional full in-person instruction and 100% virtual instruction for all students. Grain Valley students in grades 6-12 have had the option of hybrid or 100% virtual since the start of school on September 8.

Early childhood and elementary students will continue with full in person instruction with a 100% virtual option, which has been in place since the start of the school year. Although not socially distanced due to full class sizes, these students are primarily with the same group of students all day, minimizing the possibility of a widespread closure in the event of a positive case at school.

A decision on the instructional model for middle school and high school students for 3rd and 4th quarters will be made at a later time with significant weight given to the following criteria. Gating criteria are included:

  • Staff quarantine/isolation rate is currently at 3.23%.
  • School district substitute teacher fill rate is at 79% for Oct 5-9, which is critically low and needs to increase to avoid grade level/team/school closures.
  • Total new cases per 100,000 in Eastern Jackson Co is currently at 215 (Red). Target = trending below 200 (Yellow).
  • The Positivity rate in Eastern Jackson Co is currently at 15.05% (Red). Target = trending below 10% (Yellow).

The district administration presented the Board with a recommendation of continuing the hybrid model, pointing out that this option ensures the highest number of students in person, at least two days per week, and the highest level of consistency from week to week for students and families. Family survey results show the number of 100% virtual high school students is expected to more than double if the hybrid plan were ended at this time. Also, if the hybrid model was discontinued at this time, social distancing would no longer be feasible in middle schools and the high school, leading to an anticipated jump in the number of students needing to isolate in response to any positive Covid case at school.

The hybrid model has been a compromise position that has allowed us to continue to keep our schools open consistently. Despite several positive Covid cases in our schools, we have yet to have needed to isolate a large group of middle school or high school students. There have been days when we are operating with barely enough adults in some of our schools due to teacher and staff absences. If the quarantine numbers for adults come at us much quicker, we will not have enough staff to keep all our schools operating consistently.

Family and staff survey results from surveys taken two weeks ago were presented at the School Board meeting and considered when making this decision. 760 high school parents, 771 middle school parents, and 151 teachers in grades 6-12 participated in the surveys.

  • 90.28% of high school families would stay with hybrid, or transfer from virtual to hybrid, if hybrid and virtual were the only options.
  • If only in-person and virtual were offered, 25.66% of high school families would have their students in virtual, a potential increase of 14.83% compared to 1st quarter.
  • Overall, 51.25% of high school families would prefer full in-person.
  • 90.77% of middle school families would stay with hybrid, or transfer from virtual to hybrid, if hybrid and virtual were the only options.
  • If only in-person and virtual were offered, 19.87% of middle school families would have their students in virtual, a potential increase of 6.85% compared to 1st quarter.
  • Overall, 59.61% of middle school families would prefer full in-person.
  • 27.82% of middle school and high school teachers felt comfortable or very comfortable with moving ahead with in-person learning at this time, and 86.09% indicated a preference to stay with hybrid for now.

July 31 Update: The first day of school has been changed to Tuesday, September 8. Students in grades 6-12 will begin the school year in the "hybrid" model described within the "Instructional Options" section of our school reopening plan listed below. Early childhood and elementary school students will be in person as previously planned.

Grain Valley Schools is committed to providing a choice for our families. The safety of our students and staff is our priority, so we have put new procedures in place to protect everyone in our schools and minimize the risk of exposure. However, the risk of exposure increases any time we enter a public setting, including a school.

The School Reopening Plan was developed using guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Missouri School Boards Association, and the Jackson County Health Department, along with input from families and staff through surveys and planning. We hope this information helps guide each family to make decisions that best suits their unique situation.

Instructional Options

Health and Safety

Frequently Asked Questions

Staff Reopening Information

Deadline for Transitioning In or Out of Virtual Model

October 30 is the deadline to request a transition in or out of virtual for the second quarter beginning November 9.  Any parent who wishes to have their student participate in virtual learning should reach out to their child's school principal or school counselor.

School Meals For Virtual Students and Hybrid Students When Home

We are making meals available for any student in grades K-12 this fall who is enrolled as a virtual student. We are also offering meals to students in grades 6-12 during the use of the hybrid model for days the student is not at school.

Meals are available for pick up only from North Middle School on Pink Hill Road (serving students from any GV school) each weekday between 9:30-10:00 AM. 3-day and 5-day meal packs are available on Fridays, beginning September 11. No delivery is available. Families may designate someone else to pick up their child’s meals.

Families may choose to have breakfast and lunch each day, or only lunch. Each child's lunch account will be charged for each meal at the same price as they would pay in school. Free or reduced lunch status would apply for eligible students. Any family who has been eligible for free or reduced lunch last year, or feels they may now qualify, will need to apply.

Examples of the lunches include turkey sandwich, ham sandwich, uncrustable PB &J. Fruit and chips and a drink will also be included in a typical lunch. Breakfast examples include cereal, yogurt and granola, bagel with cream cheese, fruit and a drink.

Click HERE enroll in school meals for virtual and hybrid programs.

Health and Safety Summary

Help With Internet Access At Home

Wireless hotspots are available for families who need devices to help with internet connectivity at home. A wireless hotspot uses cellular data to broadcast a wireless signal to allow a computer to connect to the internet. Click the button below for more information and to request a device. Families who borrowed devices last spring will need to request a device again this fall if needed.

Request Hotspot

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