Academic Options During COVID-19 Pandemic

academic options icon  


The first day of school for Park Hill students will now be Tuesday, September 8, pending approval from the Board of Education at a special meeting at 4 p.m. on Monday.

This change comes in response to recommendations from the Kansas City Health Department and the Platte County Health Department, based on recent increases in COVID-19 in our area.

When school starts on Sept. 8, our in-person students will start the year in a split mode, with preschool through fifth grade at school in person and sixth through 12th grades on a hybrid schedule. We have more details below about what this will look like for each student.

Staff members will still report on their original assigned dates.

We will send out info on Monday to tuition preschool and Adventure Club families with more info about how this will affect those programs.

This plan is likely to change as more information becomes available and as we continue to follow the latest guidance of public health officials. We will notify you when we update our plans.

Last update: July 31


Park Hill’s Learning Options:

academic options (text explanation below)

Here is a printable document with the highlights of our different learning options. 


In Person:

in-person learning  

Students who choose this option will return to their school in the fall, taking health and safety precautions. 

If we need to close down a classroom, a school or the entire district because of a COVID-19 outbreak, our in-person students and teachers might move together to a split mode or to a full distance learning mode to provide continuity.

Update about split mode:
We received a great deal of feedback from our families and staff that they wanted us to add this to the steps we might take in case of an increase in COVID-19.

Park Hill's split mode will look like this:

Preschool and elementary:

  • Monday through Friday: All students in person

Middle- and high-school students (hybrid):

  • Monday: A group in person (A through K - see below)
  • Tuesday: B group in person (L through Z - see below)
  • Wednesday: Everyone distance learning
  • Thursday: A group in person
  • Friday: B group in person

Students in sixth through 12th grades will be in the A group if the oldest student in their household has a last name that starts with A through K. Students will be in the B group if the oldest student in their household has a last name that starts with L through Z.



Depending on guidance from public health officials about the levels of COVID-19 in our area, we might move between these modes for our in-person students:

learning modes (text explanation above)


Park Hill Online:

Park Hill Online
  Students who chose not to return in person will use our Park Hill Online option. 

This is an online-only option we are offering during the COVID-19 pandemic for students from across the Park Hill School District. This option will require the student’s parent or guardian to help facilitate their child's learning.

It will include some teacher facilitation and independent student work, with a combination of virtual one-on-one meetings, virtual group meetings, live class sessions and pre-recorded videos. These students will not be on campus during the school day for activities like celebrations.

Students who choose this option during the COVID-19 pandemic must commit to attend Park Hill Online for the entire semester. They will not be able to switch back to in-person learning until the next semester.



distance learning
  Will distance learning for in-person students look like distance learning did this past spring?
We have been hard at work this summer to improve this plan based on the feedback we received from students, teachers and families, to make it better than the Distance Learning program we used when we shut down after spring break.

We would also use Distance Learning if we needed to shut down our in-person schools for a snow day (the state gives us this option for up to five snow days).
courses they want  

Will my child be able to get the Park Hill Online courses they want?
We will place elementary and middle school students in courses based on their grade levels, and we will enroll high school students in courses they need to graduate. However, because high-school course requests and teacher availability will vary during this COVID-19 pandemic, we will have limited options, so students might not get their preferred courses.


  • We will start with the courses that students requested when they enrolled earlier this year.
  • We will try to get students the courses they want, with Park Hill teachers teaching them our curriculum.
  • If we do not have enough students who want a course to make a full class or if we do not have a teacher, we will try to find the course for a student who wants it through an outside source with outside teachers.
  • If we cannot find the course for the student at all, we will contact the family to work through what other options we can offer to meet the student’s needs.
time and work from parents and students
  How much time and work will Park Hill Online require from students and their parents?
All students will need to complete daily assignments. Elementary students might need help from a family member to complete their work. Each student will need a different amount of time to do their daily coursework. 
students with special needs Park Hill Online
  May my child who has special needs sign up for Park Hill Online?
Feel free to sign your child up if you think this might be an option. If you sign up, your child’s case manager will work with you and the rest of the IEP team to determine whether Park Hill Online is the best fit for your child’s needs.
MSHSAA   May my child participate in high-school or middle-school sports, band or other MSHSAA activities if we select Park Hill Online?
Yes. The rules from the Missouri State High School Activities Association, or MSHSAA, say that our Park Hill Online students may participate in programs like sports, band and choir. Families must provide transportation for their children in these cases.

Please keep in mind that, while we will take all the safety precautions we can, we can’t always provide full physical distancing or ensure mask wearing with these activities. MSHSAA’s eligibility requirements will still apply, including attendance, a semester of enrollment, and making progress toward graduation. 
clubs and parties
  Will my child attend clubs or class parties in elementary school?
Elementary students in Park Hill Online will be able to participate in before- or after-school clubs, with transportation as the family's responsibility, but they will not access celebrations during the school day, like class parties.
tests   Will students in Park Hill Online still take tests?
Yes, in addition to our Park Hill assessments, these students will also take state tests.
teachers   Will all Park Hill Online teachers be Park Hill teachers?
Depending on whether we have enough Park Hill teachers available to teach the Park Hill Online students, we might also contract with outside teachers. All the teachers will be certified and highly qualified. Even if your student does have a Park Hill teacher, they might not be from your student’s usual school.
students   Will my child be in virtual classes with students they know from school?
Students in Park Hill Online will come from across the school district.
tech they need
  Will my child have access to the technology they need?
We will issue a device to all Park Hill Online students. This will include iPads for students in kindergarten and first grade and laptops for students in grades two through 12. Students without internet access will receive hotspots.
progress reports   How will I know how my child is doing in their courses? 
Parents will receive weekly progress reports from teachers via email, and parents may schedule verbal communication and meetings with teachers as needed. We will have virtual parent-teacher conferences once each semester.  
grades   How will students earn grades for these courses?
Just as with in-person courses, Park Hill Online teachers will assess their students. Elementary students will receive quarterly grades, and middle- and high-school students will receive grades each semester. Teachers will record grades in Infinite Campus. High-school and middle-school students will see these grades reflected in their overall grade point average.
switch from online
  May we switch from in-person to Park Hill Online or from Park Hill Online to in-person partway through the semester? 
We must ask everyone to commit to their choice for the entire semester, so we can be sure we have enough teaching staff for both the in-person and online programs.
family help
  Will parents or guardians need to help students who attend Park Hill Online?
Yes, this option will require the student’s parent or guardian to help facilitate their child's learning. This will be a partnership with the teacher, who will provide guidance and instruction.
time requirement
  How much time will my student spend working on Park Hill Online?
Different students will take a different amount of time to complete their work, and the different classes will vary as well. Students do not need to stick to a certain schedule during the day, unless a schedule works better for them and their family. They will be able to access their classwork whenever it works best for them.
what teaching will look like
  What will the teaching look like in Park Hill Online?
Teachers will partner with parents to guide students along as they work through their learning.There will be some teacher facilitation and some independent student work, with a combination of virtual one-on-one meetings, virtual group meetings, live class sessions and pre-recorded videos.
distance learning
  Will Park Hill Online look like distance learning did in the spring?
What we did in the spring was an emergency plan, and we’ve put a great deal of effort into making Park Hill Online more in-depth.
students with special needs options
  What will Park Hill Online look like for students with special needs?
We will concentrate first on health and safety precautions as we work to change every IEP across the district. As soon as our teachers return back to work this fall, they will start with the IEPs for students whose families chose Park Hill Online. We will not be able to provide the same number of minutes of instruction to each student during this pandemic, as all the precautions we are taking will change schedules and routines. We will make changes to 504 plans if we need to in order to meet students’ needs.
  If a student chooses online courses, can they attend their Professional Studies internship? 
If a Park Hill Online student wants to participate in an internship, they must provide their own transportation. 
northland career center
  Will the Northland Career Center offer classes in person?
Yes. Park Hill Online students who attend NCC will need to provide their own transportation.