USD 497 teachers may continue to use the learning management system with which they are most familiar and comfortable during the 2020-2021 school year (e.g. Unified Classroom, PowerSchool Learning, Google Classroom, SeeSaw, etc.). The district will focus during the upcoming school year on providing professional development and support for teachers to transition to a single elementary (SeeSaw) and a single secondary (PowerSchool Schoology) learning management system for the 2021-2022 school year. The district's plan to use a single learning management system for elementary students and another for secondary students is in keeping with feedback received from school families.
Lawrence Public Schools will transition to the WebEx video conferencing and collaboration platform, beginning in July of 2020, except for Lawrence Virtual School. LVS will continue to use Zoom until the 2021-2022 school year. The district chose WebEx due to enhanced security and robust functionality for virtual classroom use. Features include more host control, virtual meetings, breakout rooms for collaboration for small groups, whiteboard and polling features, office hours and scheduling for one-on-one instruction and communication, easy recording functionality, unlimited storage, and keyword searchable closed captioning, among other features. WebEx also will connect with PowerSchool to support monitoring and data collection needs. The district's plan to use one video conferencing system is in keeping with feedback received from school families.
The district began the week of June 8 surveying school families about their needs, preferences, and concerns related to Fall 2020. This is critical information for the task force to consider during the planning process. District advisory groups will also provide input.
Approximately 200 administrators, teachers, and other certified professional staff are serving on task force working groups. The task force will collect additional staff feedback as part of its planning process.
USD 497's Human Resources Department is working on fall return-to-work guidance for staff and a process for determining which employees may not be able to return to school buildings due to personal health risks.