LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As classes resume for elementary school students in Oldham County on Wednesday, Superintendent Greg Schultz says the district is prepared to safely welcome kids back into buildings.

Superintendent Schultz says the district made the decision to return to in-person learning before Governor Andy Beshear's recommended start date, after working closely with the local health department and tracking case numbers.

The district says it has worked throughout the summer to implement practices recommended by CDC guidelines. Those including hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing when possible, outdoor mask breaks, reduced class sizes and online learning.

The virtual learning academy is available to students who may not be comfortable returning to in-person learning. Superintendent Schultz says the district has about 25% to 30% of schools who have students who opted-in to online learning. Students will have the option of transitioning to in-person learning in November and the end of February.

Elementary school students return to class first due to the size of the district and the need for a smooth opening. Schultz says the district chose to open schools in segments to put resources in one place at a time. He says elementary school students are the youngest and most dependent students, requiring more face-to-face interaction.

The district is working with the health department on a plan, if a positive case shows up in one of its schools.

"It's not one of those situations where if we have a positive case in a classroom, that we will necessarily shut down an entire building," Schultz said.

The district will be looking within schools and the community to make decisions. Schultz says the number one priority is to keep students and staff safe, and limited the risk of infection.

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