Many of Missouri’s K-12 public school students will be thrilled. They don’t have to take statewide tests this school year and they don’t have to make up missed school days because of problems created by the coronavirus.
“There is a time and a place for statewide required assessments and now is not the time,” State Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven says on Twitter. “Rest assured, that we are taking this issue off of your plates so that you can serve the needs of our children.”
All Missouri public and charter schools have closed indefinitely, but some are teaching students remotely for the time being – a big adjustment in itself for many. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, let school districts make the call on whether to continue holding classes, instead of ordering them to close.
According to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, missed calendar hours will not impact the calculation of average daily attendance. State funding to schools is usually figured through a formula that includes academic performance and attendance.
The department says districts and charters should make attendance decisions based on the safety and well-being of their students and staff, without concern that the low attendance numbers will negatively impact payment. Further guidance regarding school finance issues will be included in a separate memo from the Division of Financial and Administrative services early next week.
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