LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The last day of classes for Jefferson County Public Schools has been moved to May 27 based on new guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education, the Jefferson County Board of Education decided Tuesday

JCPS, like other districts across the state, has ceased in-person learning and transitioned to nontraditional instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic through the end of the 2019-20 school year based on guidance from Gov. Andy Beshear. 

Those learning days were originally supposed to account for six hours and 15 minutes of instructional time, but Kevin Brown, Kentucky's interim education commissioner, told superintendents Monday that the state would instead recognize seven hours of learning for each day of nontraditional instruction.

JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said during a news conference Tuesday that he would ask the Jefferson County Board of Education, which had already moved the final day of classes for JCPS from June 10 to June 3, to make May 27 the last day of school at its Tuesday meeting based on the additional time granted by the state.

The board unanimously approved Pollio's request Tuesday evening.

Districts are supposed to provide at least 1,062 hours of instructional time during the school year.

"We have to meet that threshold, but with the seven hours of NTI instruction, that will allow us to finish one week earlier," Pollio said during a virtual news conference Tuesday.

The Kentucky Department of Education says the change will allow all schools to finish instruction by May 29, with most districts able to wrap up classes by mid-May.

While Beshear indicated that schools will need to find "creative" ways to hold virtual or drive-in commencement ceremonies, Pollio said he hoped to invite graduating seniors back for graduations "as soon as we possibly can," even if that means hosting ceremonies this fall.

"We think it's so important to do that, and we're going to work very hard to make sure that that happens," Pollio said. "But just know seniors, our hearts go out to you for this time, and we're going to celebrate you as much as we possibly can while following those social guidelines."

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