LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Despite Gov. Andy Beshear's recommendation to hold off on in-person learning until Jan. 11, officials with some Kentucky school districts said they feel returning to the classroom ahead of schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic is the right move.
These districts in WDRB News' viewing area plan to have students back in classrooms by next week:
- Spencer County: hybrid, in-person learning beginning Tuesday, Jan. 5
- Henry County: hybrid, in-person learning beginning Jan. 5
- Trimble County: in-person learning beginning Jan. 5
"Any time that we can have face-to-face instruction two days a week for these kids is better than sitting at home virtually and putting that pressure on the parents to ensure that they’re doing everything they can to keep the kid engaged,” said Chuck Adams, superintendent of Spencer County Schools.
Adams, who is comfortable with the district's safety plan for students and staff, said returning to the classroom could be a safer option than learning remotely for some students.
"I’m just as confident that we can keep our kids safe in school more so than them being out of school, to be honest," he said.
Spencer and Henry counties will operate on a hybrid schedule, which alternates groups of students between in-classroom and virtual instruction for days at a time.
Beshear suggested districts utilize a hybrid schedule upon resuming in-person learning. Oldham, Shelby, Bullitt, Hardin, Meade, Carroll and LaRue counties have all planned to adopt the hybrid schedule for when they return on Jan. 11 or later. Kentucky's largest school district, Jefferson County Public Schools, hopes to reopen classrooms in mid-February as it develops a plan for vaccinating teachers and staff.
While those school districts wait to return to in-person learning, Adams said there's no time to waste for Spencer County students if it can be done safely.
"I can certainly see the justification in either route," he said, "but I think what it boils down to is what's best for your certain county, your school district and your community."
Upon reopening, all public schools are required to comply with the state's Healthy at School guidelines. School districts must also continue to provide virtual learning for families that wish to remain at home as well as remote working accommodations for high-risk employees.
- Beshear asks Kentucky school districts to delay in-person learning until Jan. 11
- JCPS hopes to reopen schools by mid-February as district preps vaccine rollout, Pollio says
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