KPS AND COVID-19 image


As you may have heard, Governor Ricketts has issued a directive for all schools to remain closed until May 31, 2020.  Kearney Public Schools will maintain our Continuance of Learning plan for the duration of the school year (May 20, 2020).  In addition, all NSAA sports and activities are officially canceled for the remainder of this school year. This closure and the continuance of distance learning will help to alleviate the spread of COVID-19 and keep our families and community healthy. Your role is more important than ever as we help our students process this change of events. 

We have been very excited by the beginning work of our online learning. The feedback from stakeholders has been very positive and we know you will continue to make this the best learning situation possible. Equally impressive has been our service-oriented school nutrition staff providing our  “Grab and Go” lunch program, our maintenance and custodial teams for their work in disinfecting and cleaning our buildings, and our technology team in equipping our students and staff to function in this new reality. Again, we appreciate your continued efforts to support the district during this difficult time.

One of the most pressing decisions, and immediately in front of us, is what to do with the KHS graduation ceremony.  We hope to make the best decision possible to appropriately honor the 13 years of committed work by our teachers and seniors.  Our graduation and commencement ceremony will take place on Friday, June 19, at 6:00 pm with our venue to be determined. We are hoping to have a traditional graduation ceremony. However, depending on the continuing development of conditions surrounding the COVID-19 virus, we may need to have an alternate type of ceremony. If that is the case, additional information will be provided when possible.

Also, we have many other summer programs, camps, and activities. Decisions relative to those programs and activities will be made as more information becomes available from state and local health officials.  

We understand this brings great hardships to our families, and we want nothing more than for school to be in session. We are all ready to return to normal. However, we must protect our staff, students, and community by seriously embracing social distancing. Be safe and take care of yourself and your families.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Kent Edwards, Superintendent


As a result of the voting at Kearney Public Schools Board of Education meeting held on Monday, March 23, the district will move forward with a plan developed to address educating our youth during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The KPS school buildings are closed indefinitely; however, education will continue throughout the school year. An indefinite closure means that our school buildings will remain closed until the COVID-19 situation evolves to a place where we can safely resume normal school operations.   

“Like everyone, we are hopeful that this global pandemic will resolve itself quickly,” said Superintendent Kent Edwards. “We know our staff, parents, and students are anxious to return to a normal school environment. In the interim, we have incredible teachers who will make learning relevant, even at a distance.”

The Board of Education will review administrative plans developed to continue educating students online.  After those plans have been approved, the school district will communicate details with parents and students on Friday, March 27.  Included in the planning will be both academic plans as well as building entry plans to retrieve personal and professional items.   

“Our teams of administrators and teachers have been working tirelessly to plan for an effective Continuance of Learning plan for our students,” said Edwards. “As you can imagine, there are many details to be worked out in this uncertain environment. We also realize there are students and staff that may need to retrieve personal and professional belongings. Organized plans for people to do that, while maintaining social distancing, will be developed and communicated. Beyond our initial plans, there are many questions that will remain unanswered while conditions continue to change and/or emerge. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we maneuver through these unique times.”   

Grab & Go lunches are available to all children 18 and younger from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at three different school locations.   Bryant, Central, and Emerson schools will all provide drive-through pick up lunches. The lunches will also include breakfast items.  Students must be present to receive lunches and do not need to have a parent accompany them. School cafeterias will not be made available to prevent the potential spreading of any germs.

 “We are excited to offer Grab & Go meals while our school buildings remain closed”, said Edwards. This is an effort to support our students that may not otherwise have breakfast or lunch available.”



The Jubilee Food Pantry is operating and there is food available to hand out.
Mon - Wed - Fri: 1pm to 5pm
Tue: 9am to 1pm
Sat: 10am to 2pm
Thursday: Jubilee Community Meals: The food providers will bring the dishes to the Jubilee and we will create take away meals that can be picked or delivered if requested between 5:30pm and 6:30pm.

Are you needing extra help with food during your kiddos’ Spring Break being extended? If so, please come to the Storehouse to grab our “Home 4 Now Bags”! These are stocked with kid-friendly foods to assist you during these weeks.
Kearney eFree Church   4010 7th Avenue, Kearney, NE   North Doors – Door #12
Pick-up Hours:
MONDAYS: 10:30am-11:30am
WEDNESDAYS: 12:00pm-1:00pm
THURSDAYS: 5:00pm-6:00pm
FRIDAYS: 10:30am-11:30am

Cooking noon meal 11am-2pm
Kearney Jubilee Center    2523 A Avenue, Kearney
Call for delivery 308-440-7836.

March 17, 2020 

 Dear Kearney Families, 

The current global situation may seem like it is far away, or you may feel like it is knocking at your door. Everyone processes information differently and you or your student(s) may have great concern about COVID-19. We hope that all of our families will stay safe and healthy. There is a lot of information regarding physical things you can do to prevent the spread of illness, and we hope you will make yourselves familiar and practice those suggestions habitually. However, we want to address some mental health practices that you should become familiar with during these unprecedented times. 

With the amount of information that is continuously available regarding COVID-19, it may be a good practice to limit the times and amounts in which you are exposed. Encourage limited social media exposure to decrease trauma. It is important to keep up to date on the current threat to your area, business and organization closings, and updates regarding preventative and healing practices. Practice watching or checking online updates at designated times for limited durations. 

 Students and adults may become overwhelmed if they become obsessed with something they are not able to control. Watch and discuss global happenings away from young children. Have deliberate and calm conversations with them about changes in their routine. You can model emotional management to your children by calmly sharing your feelings with them about what is going on and asking about how it is making them feel. Drawing and journaling are great activities you can use to help your children process their feelings about what is happening. 

Mental health awareness is essential all of the time. There are things you and your child(ren) can do to practice good mental health. See the attached flyer. If you or your child(ren) start experiencing extreme worry, anxiety, fear, depression, or hopelessness, you may contact your student’s counselor or social worker via email between 8:00-4:00 Monday-Friday. If you have an urgent need, call 911 or your community mental health professional. 

Dealing with change can be difficult. There are a lot of factors that are out of our control right now. During times like this, how you react and respond will make a world of difference. Here is where grit and resilience come into play. We have never had to respond to an event such as the current situation, but with adversity, there is change. Look for the helpers and find the good. Be a part of the solution. 

KPS Counseling Department

March 16, 2020

 For KPS students and staff that are planning to travel March 16-29:

 It is important to note that if you are traveling to a COVID-19 at-risk area, as defined by the CDC, you will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks before re-entering KPS schools.

 Guidance on travel and locations of COVID-19 outbreaks is changing rapidly.   To assist travelers, we have linked CDC recommendations and guidelines. It is important to monitor the at-risk travel locations which are changing daily for travel both inside and outside of our country. 

 If someone travels to an at-risk area, or if a traveler feels they have been in contact with someone who has been infected with COVID-19, please complete the attached KPS Absence Form. Level 3 countries and US States with Community Transmission are considered at-risk.

 In addition to a self-quarantine, decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis If additional actions are needed based on updated recommendations provided by the CDC.

Current CDC Travel Information Link::  CDC Link  COVID=19 in the US   (A link for the list of states is below the map)

COVID-19 Absence Form Link:

Cruise Ship Guidance CKC:  LINK


March 15, 2020
KPS Families,

With the United States expansion of the travel ban, and the desire to flatten the COVID-19 curve and not overwhelm our medical community, Kearney Public Schools, along with Hastings and Grand Island Public Schools, will be extending students’ Spring Break starting tomorrow, March 16 through March 29.

There has not been a confirmed case in Buffalo, Hall, or Adams County, however, CDC guidance requires social distancing and separation of large groups of people. We view our regular school day as something that would constitute a large gathering. We also see this extended break as an opportunity to thoroughly clean and disinfect our buildings and our facilities team will work diligently to make sure we have cleaned all areas appropriately. Additionally, all activities and sports practices will be cancelled and KCLC will not be in session.

Our top priority is the safety of our students, staff and, in this case, the greater community and we hope these efforts will serve our community health in a productive way.


Estimados familias de las Escuelas Públicas de Kearney,

Con la expansión de los Estados Unidos de la prohibición de viajar y el deseo de aplanar la curva COVID-19 y no abrumar a nuestra comunidad médica, las Escuelas Públicas de Kearney, junto con las Escuelas Públicas de Hastings y Grand Island, extenderán las vacaciones de primavera de los estudiantes a partir de mañana, el 16 de marzo al 29 de marzo.

No ha habido un caso confirmado en los condados de Buffalo, Hall o Adams, sin embargo, la orientación de los CDC requiere el distanciamiento social y la separación de grandes grupos de personas. Vemos nuestro día escolar regular como algo que constituiría una gran reunión. También vemos este descanso prolongado como una oportunidad para limpiar y desinfectar a fondo nuestros edificios y nuestro equipo de instalaciones trabajará diligentemente para asegurarse de que hayamos limpiado todas las áreas adecuadamente. Además, todas las actividades y prácticas deportivas serán canceladas y KCLC no estará en sesión.
Nuestra principal prioridad es la seguridad de nuestros estudiantes, el personal y, en este caso, la comunidad en general y esperamos que estos esfuerzos sirvan a la salud de nuestra comunidad de una manera productiva.

The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving situation.  KPS administrators remain in communication with Two Rivers Public Health Department, as well as city, state and other organizations.  We are taking precautions and planning daily.  Below are a few of the things we are doing in our schools to combat the virus.  This is a fluid situation and we will update parents via email, social media, and our website.

  • Extra cleaning with upgraded disinfectant.
  • Extra hand washing breaks for students/staff.
  • Assemblies, events, and large student gatherings are cancelled.
  • Outside organizations/meetings/events held in our schools are cancelled.
  • No outside visitors are allowed in schools.  Parents are allowed.
  • Practices will continue after school.
  • KCLC will continue.

March 13, 2020

Dear Kearney Public Schools Families,

In an effort to be proactive, we are developing a plan for supporting student learning in the event of an extended closure.  Today the PK-5 teachers are sending home textbooks and materials with students in the case of a closure. Materials could potentially go back and forth between home and school for a number of days or weeks.  Please return these materials daily.  It is important that the materials stay as they are, do not complete this work unless you receive notice via email or phone from your classroom teacher.  Textbooks and library books have been checked out under your child’s name. Please take extra care of these materials.  

In addition, your 6-12 students will be receiving a survey today.  We encourage you to ensure that your student completes that information.  This information will be used to help 6-12 teachers develop a plan for how KPS would conduct distance learning for 6-12 students.  If school is closed, we will work with teachers to create and share a structured learning plan and communication.   

The timing of any closure will be done in consultation with public health officials.  KPS will continue to follow our infection control plan. We will continue to monitor student and staff absences and illnesses in conjunction with public health agencies.  At this time, we do not have any schools showing unusual numbers of absences or illnesses of any kind. KPS is taking guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education regarding educational plans for students in the event of a school closure. 


Mrs. Chelsea Feusner, PK-5 Director of Education
Mrs. Melissa Herrmann, 6-12 Director of Education


13 de marzo de 2020

Estimadas familias de las escuelas públicas de Kearney:

En un esfuerzo por ser proactivos, estamos desarrollando un plan para apoyar el aprendizaje de los estudiantes en caso de un cierre prolongado. Hoy los maestros de PK-5 están enviando libros de texto y materiales a casa con los estudiantes en caso de cierre. Los materiales podrían potencialmente ir y venir entre el hogar y la escuela durante varios días o semanas.  Por favor devuelva estos materiales diariamente.  Es importante que los materiales permanezcan como están, no complete este trabajo a menos que reciba un aviso por correo electrónico o por teléfono de su maestro.  Los libros de texto y los libros de la biblioteca han sido retirados con el nombre de su hijo. Tenga especial cuidado con estos materiales.  

Además, sus estudiantes de 6-12 recibirán una encuesta hoy. Lo alentamos a asegurarse de que su estudiante complete esa información. Esta información se utilizará para ayudar a los maestros de 6-12 a desarrollar un plan sobre cómo KPS conducirá el aprendizaje a distancia para 6-12 estudiantes. Si la escuela está cerrada, trabajaremos con maestros para crear y compartir un plan de aprendizaje estructurado y comunicación.   

El momento de cualquier cierre se realizará en consulta con los funcionarios de salud pública. KPS continuará siguiendo nuestro plan de control de infecciones. Continuaremos monitoreando las ausencias y enfermedades de los estudiantes y el personal en conjunto con las agencias de salud pública.  En este momento, no tenemos ninguna escuela que muestre un número inusual de ausencias o enfermedades de ningún tipo. KPS está recibiendo orientación del Departamento de Educación de Nebraska con respecto a los planes educativos para estudiantes en caso de cierre de la escuela. 


Sra. Chelsea Feusner, Directora de Educación PK-5
Sra. Melissa Herrmann, Directora de Educación 6-12

March 13, 2020

Dear KPS Families,
The current COVID-19 situation continues to evolve on a daily, if not hourly, basis.  While there are no planned closures at this time, we are continuing our preparations as needed to accommodate any change in condition or status.
In making this decision, KPS has been in consultation with a variety of local and state agencies. Currently, UNK will be conducting classes on campus the week of March 16th.  At this time, Hastings and Grand Island Public Schools also plan to be in session the week of March 16th.  Likewise, KPS plans to conduct school as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the situation daily, as the safety of our students and staff members is our top priority. 
On the state level, below is part of a message from Dr. Matthew Blomstedt, the Commissioner of Education, that we received last night, March 12 at 8:42 pm.  Dr. Blomstedt further reiterated his earlier comments in a press conference held concurrently with Governor Ricketts this morning.  The email from last night quoted the following:
 “Tonight I can say that there is a rapid increase in national, state and local awareness of the severity of the issues. As of 8:30 PM 3-12-2020, there are no known cases of community spread in Nebraska. UNLESS state or local health officials ask you to close, it is recommended that you hold school in your regular order. .......I do believe there is a likelihood that Nebraska and other states will experience many closures over the next weeks and months. However, I have asked the Governor, education leaders, and others to ensure an orderly and appropriate approach to closures that include recommendations from state and local health officials........... I still believe that for most of the state, there is no additional risk to hold school tomorrow and we will continue to evaluate week by week and day by day the risks and make recommendations according to the best information possible……….."
At this time, there have not been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kearney or the surrounding service area of Two Rivers Health Department.  As this situation remains fluid, we will continue to communicate via our website, social media, and phone messages if needed as we gather additional information.  We continue to ask families to keep their children home if they are ill.


Kent Edwards

KPS Superintendent



March 12, 2020

Dear Kearney Public Schools Families,

In continuing to prioritize the health and safety of all students and staff, we are taking this opportunity to update you on our district plan regarding infectious diseases, including coronavirus (COVID-19). In an attempt to minimize exposure, and out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending all scheduled assemblies, events, and programs, both internal and external, now through March 29, 2020. School administrators and building leaders will send separate communication for your school.

From Two Rivers Public Health Department: “While KPS is not making this decision in response to a federal or state mandate, we feel it is appropriate and proactive to suspend the extracurricular activities of students in hopes of maintaining their ability to continue their academics without interruption. At present, there are no cases of COVID-19 in Kearney or the Two River Public Health Department jurisdiction. Children are not at the highest risk for having serious complications if they do contract the virus, but minimizing their potential exposures protects our most vulnerable community members as well as our children.”

Currently, there are no immediate plans for short-term or extended school closures. The timing of any closure will be done in consultation with public health officials. KPS will continue to follow our infection control plan. We will continue to monitor student and staff absences and illnesses in conjunction with public health agencies. KPS is taking guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education regarding educational plans for students in the event of a school closure.

To strengthen student awareness, schools are implementing daily announcements about regular hand washing and scheduling hand washing breaks for students at the elementary level. Also, the district is using an enhanced level of disinfectant in the schools and will be doing additional disinfecting during spring break.

As a reminder, individuals can help protect themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Keep your student home from school if he/she is not feeling well.

KPS will continue to share updated information and plans. Please trust that we are fully engaged in planning, monitoring, and responding to the COVID - 19 situation in consultation with public health officials.

For more information, please access the following link:
DHHS COVID-19 Website:
DHHS COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet


Kent Edwards, KPS Superintendent