Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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    July 15, 2020

    KS Governor to Delay Start of School

    Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on July 15 announced that on July 20, she will sign an executive order to delay opening schools until after the Labor Day holiday. “I can’t in good conscience open schools when cases in our state are at an all-time high and continuing to rapidly rise,” Governor Kelly said. “Every action I have taken throughout this pandemic has been done to keep Kansans healthy, keep our state open for business and get our kids back in school.”

    The Governor made this decision in consultation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Education, which continue to monitor health metrics and disease spread in the state. On July 13, a record coronavirus spike pushed Kansas past 20,000 total cases. ICU capacity in some of the state’s hospitals are under threat, and nearly 300 Kansans have died.

    “The additional three weeks before opening schools will provide schools time to work with their counties to get the necessary mitigation supplies like masks, thermometers, and hand sanitizer,” Governor Kelly said. “The Kansas State Board of Education and I are united in prioritizing the health of our students and faculty, and ensuring we provide a world-class education for our students.”

    Further details will be announced next week after the order is released.
    ~Governor's Office news release


    On July 15, the Kansas State Board of Education accepted the “Navigating Change: Kansas’ Guide to Learning and School Safety Operations” document. This is a living document that will be updated continuously to reflect the changing landscape created by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is critical to remember this document contains recommendations only, not mandates, to assist districts in the creation of their reopening plans. 
    ~KSDE news release

    June 1, 2020
    Summer Food Program: Free Grab-and-Go Meals for All Children, No Registration Required, Weekend Meals Distributed on Fridays!

    June 1-August 7 (Closed July 3)          

    Billy Mills MS, 11:30-1:00

    East Lawrence Center, Noon-1:00

    Holcom Park, 11:30-12:30

    South Park, Noon-1:00 (6/30/2020 Update: The South Park meal site is temporarily closed. Please visit our other Summer Food Service Program sites.) 

    June 1-July 31 (Closed July 3)

    Kennedy, Pinckney, Prairie Park, and Schwegler, 11:30-1:00 (6/29/2020 Update: The Schwegler meal site is temporarily closed. Please visit our other Summer Food Service Program sites.) 

    healthy food  healthy foods





    June 29, 2020, Douglas County Public Health Officials Issue Mask Order 

    Review the local public health order requiring masks indoors when social distancing cannot be maintained, effective July 1. 


    June 26, 2020, Superintendent's Video Message

    In this video message, Superintendent Dr. Anthony Lewis encourages the school community to cooperate with all public health and safety guidelines and recommendations and stop the spread of COVID-19. Statistics around the spread of COVID-19 are part of a Douglas County Scorecard that will determine whether local public health requirements allow the district to proceed with its plans for Class of 2020 graduations, student athletics and activities, and the start of school in the fall. 


    June 5, 2020 Fall 2020 Planning Task Force

    Lawrence Public Schools continues to work in collaboration with local public health and state agencies as it plans recovery efforts related to the changes brought about by COVID-19. District administration and the Lawrence Education Association have collaborated in the creation of a task force to plan for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. More than 200 district and school administrators, curriculum and instructional coaches, and teachers representing various grade levels, subject areas, and specialties will participate in workgroups. They will discuss fall planning for all school levels, including early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school.

    Knowing that no one-size-fits-all approach will meet our school community's needs, the task force will develop contingency plans for fall 2020 based on the guiding principles of protecting the health and safety of students and staff and supporting student mastery of the state standards that define what Kansas students should know and be able to do. The task force will review U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for schools and feedback about the continuous learning plan from students and parents, and use federal CARES Act funding to compensate teachers for their participation.

    When the 2020-2021 school year begins, schools may look different than in previous years due to new health and safety measures. Staff and school families may see adjusted schedules, smaller learning environments, continued e-learning opportunities, and other changes intended to meet public health recommendations. The task force's planning process will include surveying parents/guardians and gathering input from staff and advisory groups about needs, preferences, and concerns related to the upcoming school year.

    Following the anticipated release of school reopening guidance from the Kansas State Department of Education by July 16, the task force will share its plan. (The plan will be subject to change with public health updates.) Our sincere thanks to all of the staff dedicating time to this important task this summer and to our school families for their continued partnership! A website hub for information about the task force's work is in process and will be shared as fall planning continues. We may not know now what fall 2020 will bring but we know that Lawrence Public Schools will be ready to ensure that students are supported and successful!

    Meanwhile, please see the 6/5/2020 revised 2020-2021 Student Calendar and 2020-2021 Staff Calendar. Due to the changes in high school start dates to coincide with the language of the LHS construction contract, the high schools will be out of school on November 6, 2020, for a Staff Plan Day, and on February 12 for a Staff PD/Plan Day. (All calendars dated prior to 6/5/2020 should be discarded.) 


    May 22, 2020

    Elementary Summer Learning Resources

    May 11, 2020

    In this video, Superintendent Dr. Anthony Lewis thanks teachers and staff for their outstanding work and community partners for their ongoing support and shares Class of 2020 graduation announcements.

    ◾Lawrence Virtual School Graduation, 1 p.m., July 11, Free State High auditorium
    ◾Free State High Graduation, 8:00 a.m., July 18, FSHS stadium
    ◾Lawrence High Graduation, 10:30 a.m., July 18, LHS stadium
    ◾July 18 Rain Plan: Drive-through Graduation Parades

    (All plans will meet health and safety requirements and are subject to change.)


    April 30, 2020

    Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announces a framework to transition from COVID-19 response to recovery. Read more at


    Lawrence Public Schools COVID-19 Informational Updates

    March 20, 2020, Superintendent's Video Message to Staff & School Families

    March 13, 2020, Notice of School Closure Through March 29 (Spanish)

    March 12, 2020, Superintendent's Message to Families

    March 6, 2020, COVID-19 Informational graphic

    March 6, 2020, Superintendent's Message to Families

    January 28, 2020, Superintendent's Message to Families


    Public Health Resources - Video: Symptoms and when to call a health care provider.

    Multilingual Resources About COVID-19

    FEMA Response Resources (Spanish)

    FEMA Rumor Control Website


    More Resources from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention 

    CDC - Fact Sheet (English)

    CDC - Fact Sheet (Spanish)

    CDC - What to do if you’re sick (English)

    CDC - What to do if you’re sick (Spanish)

    CDC - Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (English)

    CDC - Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (Spanish) 

    CDC - How to Make & Wear a Cloth Face Covering & (Spanish)