Many Missouri schools have kicked off fall classes and others will soon start. Missouri Board of Education President Charlie Shields says board members have been impressed with the plans schools have made to reopen this fall amid a pandemic.

Missouri Education Board President pleased with school preparation

“The thing that we have been impressed with is the local schools, the school boards and the educators, have been very thoughtful in how they’re doing this and they’ve spent a lot of time over the summer trying to figure out how to do this and I think you’re going to see some of them, if not most of them, be very successful,” Shields tells KFEQ in St. Joseph.

Shields says the methods local school districts have adopted range widely with many rural districts simply going back to the classroom while a few urban districts open only online. Most Missouri districts are in between, blending both classroom instruction with virtual learning.

Missouri more than 500 public school districts.

Shields says with most districts are incorporating some online learning at home, he doesn’t see such so-called virtual learning going away.

“But I think you will not see the genie put back in the bottle when it comes to virtual learning. I think that’s the thing that’s going to be here to stay,” Shields says. “I think parents embrace it, I think students embrace it, and I think some educators embrace it as a great way to teach.”

Shields says school districts across Missouri have taken their responsibility during the coronavirus pandemic seriously.

“What I have seen from educators and school districts is a lot of creativity. I think they’ve spent a lot of time in the summer trying to get ready for this,” Shields says. “I think things obviously can change along the way, but I think they’ve done a great job. They’re ready. And we’re going to see it work and I think for the most part we’re going to see them be effective.”

Shields says the Missouri State Board of Education agrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics that it is very important school children return to school, not just to further their education, but for their overall well-being.

By Brent Martin of Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph