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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky school districts can offer in-person and virtual instruction as part of hybrid performance-based class schedules to help limit the spread of COVID-19, according to state education guidance released Thursday.

The Kentucky Department of Education said students in fifth through 12th grades can request performance-based schedules if local school boards’ policies allow performance-based coursework, which can be taught traditionally or virtually.

“It is possible for a student in all performance-based courses to attend school on a hybrid schedule,” KDE’s guidance document says. “... These students could follow a schedule where they receive instruction X days per week in school and X days per week virtually.”

Schools must ensure students’ educational programming adheres to state academic standards and assign teachers and staff to provide instruction based on those standards, according to state guidance.

Virtual learning must include live instruction and platforms that support visual and verbal interactions between teachers and students, the guidance document says.

“Frequent live, regularly scheduled contact with a Kentucky certified teacher is suggested and should be prioritized to support student learning and produce more effective outcomes,” the document says.

Students who enroll in performance-based courses yield attendance-based funding once they successfully complete such classes, according to the guidance document.

State regulations do not allow performance-based classes for students in kindergarten through fourth grade. Districts must apply for a pupil attendance regulation waiver if they want to offer virtual learning options for students in those grades, the guidance document says.

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