By Echo Menges
Knox County, MO – Monday, March 16, 2020 – The Knox County R-1 School District has made the decision to close in an effort to slow the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
The district will be closed for two weeks until March 31.
The decision was announced by KCR-1 Superintendent Andy Turgeon on Monday, March 16, during an after-school staff meeting.
An audio announcement was sent to parents immediately following the staff meeting and a statement from the Superintendent was shared on social media.
Superintendent Turgeon and Knox County Health Department Administrator Lori Moots-Clair sat down with The Edina Sentinel to talk about the process of making the decision to cancel classes for the time being and plans the district is making to deliver online education and meal service to homebound students. That interview is included below. Scroll past the video to read the statement issued by Superintendent Turgeon.
Statement From the Knox County R-1 School District
At this time, I have made the decision with the support of our local health department, to proactively close all schools and related services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic beginning tomorrow Tuesday, March 17 through March 31. This timeframe may change as I continue to get information from the local, state, and federal governments. All school activities, including athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, will be canceled during the time that schools are closed.
The goal of the timing and length of this closure is to proactively decelerate the transmission of the virus by limiting contact among individuals for an extended period of time. According to the CDC, the practice of social distancing can significantly decrease the ability of the virus to spread and keep those who may be more vulnerable to the illness safe.
Our schools serve as a place of learning, but they also serve as sources of comfort, routine, support, and nutrition for children in our community. Our faculty and staff have been working diligently to prepare contingency plans to continue our students’ education during an extended closure. We are currently working to make sure that all students bring their iPads home and working on a plan to ensure that everyone has access at home. Our food service department is also working on plans to ensure that meals are being offered, and our counselors will also find ways to provide social-emotional supports, during the closure. Over the next several days I will be developing the logistics to make sure that these resources are available. We will do everything in our control to help minimize the impact of this closure on our families.
In the meantime, please follow the advice of our health officials: Practice proper handwashing and social distancing, but also be mindful that the children are looking to you for guidance. Model calm and help reassure them that the adults in their lives are doing everything in their power to keep them safe. Thank you for advocating for our students and thank you for being an unbelievably supportive community. Your trust means the world to our staff and administration, and we are confident that we will get through this challenging time together.