JCPS Wide

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools will not cut its required 6 feet of social distance inside schools despite revised federal and state guidance indicating that schools need only provide 3 feet of spacing in classrooms as part of COVID-19 protocols.

Mark Hebert, a spokesperson for JCPS, said classrooms will continue to provide 6 feet of social distance between students in classes because they have been set up to provide such space "when possible."

"This will remain in place for the remainder of the current school year," he wrote in an email Friday to reporters.

The Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Department for Public Health revised the state's "Healthy at School" guidance March 26, a week after similar action from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both sets of COVID-19 guidance allow schools to cut social distancing requirements in schools from 6 feet to 3 feet for students inside classrooms as long as other mitigation measures, such as masking, are followed. Social distancing of 6 feet is still required in other school spaces for students and throughout buildings for adults.

Whether recommended changes are on the horizon for the district's hybrid schedule remain unknown.

JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio originally recommended that elementary students return for classes five days per week, but the Jefferson County Board of Education approved a revised version of the administration's plan and set a hybrid learning schedule for elementary schools.

Middle and high school students whose last names start with A-K will resume in-person instruction for the first time in more than a year Monday, and the district's phased reopening began March 17.

"As Dr. Pollio has indicated -- we want to ensure the success of the hybrid model for all students attending in-person classes before considering any more changes to students' learning schedules," Hebert wrote in an email to WDRB News.

Kentucky's largest school district will follow the latest guidance from the state regarding temperature screenings upon entry at schools, instead reserving such checks for students showing COVID-19 symptoms.

The state's "Healthy at School" guidance was updated to reflect that change Thursday.

"We are notifying our schools that they can follow KDE guidance on this," Hebert wrote in the email to reporters, adding that families are expected to continue checking their children for symptoms before they leave for school.

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