LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- While distance learning at Jefferson County Public Schools may be extended beyond October, Superintendent Marty Pollio said Kentucky's largest school district will do "everything we can" to resume in-person instruction sooner rather than later.
The Jefferson County Board of Education is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Pollio's plan to tentatively reopen elementary schools on Oct. 22 if local COVID-19 cases decline.
The district, which began the 2020-21 school year with nontraditional instruction, would then reopen middle and high schools in the following weeks under his proposal.
"I'd really encourage everyone out there to follow the social distancing guidelines and the masks and everything else so that we can get our kids back to school," Pollio said during an appearance Monday on WDRB News.
The district hopes to have elementary students back in classes five days a week while students in middle and high schools come to classes on alternate days, he said.
Pollio's recommendation on reopening schools will depend on local COVID-19 cases.
He has said Jefferson County's incidence rate needs to be trending toward the yellow phase, or between one and 10 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents based on a seven-day average, in the state's new color-coded COVID-19 map before he suggests bringing students back to school.
Jefferson County's COVID-19 incidence rate is currently 19.1 new positive cases per 100,000 residents, putting the county in the state's orange phase.
Some students who have been out of classes since March may need yearslong interventions to catch up academically, particularly in summer and after-school programs, he said.
"There is no doubt that this is going to be a part of the equation moving forward," Pollio said.
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