Missouri education officials examine how, when to restart school

Students arrive at Oakville Middle School on the first day of school last year.

Students arrive at Oakville Middle School on the first day of school last year.

By Claire Colby, Missouri News Network

In-person instruction in Missouri schools is canceled for the remainder of the school year, and attention has turned to how and when school buildings may eventually be reopened.

Much of Gov. Mike Parson’s Wednesday briefing centered on education. Missouri schools will receive $208 million from the federal government under the CARES Act for elementary and secondary schools, Parson said.

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education officials are working to determine what re-entry into school buildings will look like, said Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

“Not only do we need a consistent plan to ensure that students and educators across the state return to school safely, we need to be prepared to quickly address the educational gaps and the enhanced social and emotional learning needs that may surface among our students,” Vandeven said.

The $208 million will go toward technology, infrastructure, teacher training on distance learning and moving resources to areas of highest need, Vandeven said.

“During this time, I continue to be proud of our school leaders, teachers and counselors, food service workers and the other school staff members, as well as our Missouri students and their families for the many ways they have risen and will continue to rise to the occasion to tackle the challenges presented through COVID-19,” she said.