LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools is not the only district faced with the choice between remote learning or in-school classes.
Other districts of similar sizes across the country are also walking a tightrope between parental expectations and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An online search uncovered 10 school districts similar in size to JCPS. Five were slightly bigger and five slightly smaller, with anywhere from about 90,000 to 110,000 students.
Six major metropolitan districts of similar sizes to JCPS were still all online, including schools in Albuquerque and Baltimore, along with Prince Williams County, Virginia, Dekalb County Schools in Georgia and Shelby County Schools in Memphis, Tennessee.
"We'll continue exploring possibilities and options as we review data and metrics with the Shelby County Health Department," said Joris Ray, superintendent of Shelby County Schools in Memphis. "Please know there has been no date community on a return to school buildings."
Some of those six do at least have plans for a return to in-person classes. Prince Williams County Schools is scheduled to begin a phased reentry for the youngest grades on Nov. 11.
Dekalb County plans to reevaluate their plans at a board meeting Monday.
In Baltimore, two different larger sized districts are using two different approaches. The county school system remains closed through the end of January, but the separate Baltimore City School District just announced plans to soon reopen 25 campuses for the city's neediest children.
"We do know that for numbers of our young people, their learning experience in the virtual space just is not meeting their needs," Baltimore City Schools CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises said.
WDRB News identified four school systems of similar size to JCPS that returned to class.
Polk and Pinellas County schools, like many others in Florida, reopened Aug. 24, giving students the option to attend online. Fulton County, Georgia opened with full time, face-to-face, in-class instruction Monday. Fort Worth ISD began a phased reopening earlier this month, despite protests and an 11-hour school board meeting.
"They're being very careful," Cindy Pepper, a speech therapist and Fort Worth ISD parent told Fox 4 in Dallas. "You have to wear a mask and shield. And my son is in middle school, and he has to take this Plexiglas divider from class to class. They have hand sanitizer everywhere, like three giant bottles in the hallway. You can't use the water fountain. They have water bottles, so they're being very cautious."
Most of the districts we studied surveyed their families and faculties before making a decision. All that returned to in-person classes also have an online option. The districts said each school is making a decision whether or not to return to in-person classes based on COVID-19 rates in their areas.
Copyright 2020 by WDRB Media. All rights reserved.