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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's back to the classroom for some students in Kentuckiana. That includes school districts in Kentucky, even though Gov. Andy Beshear has recommended virtual learning continue until Jan. 11.

"We have gotten to the point where we have to weigh the risk," said Henry County Superintendent Terry Price. His district will be welcoming back students on Jan. 5, nearly a week before the governor's recommended timeline.

"If you read the governor's executive order, the executive order lists returning to school on the 11th as a recommendation, which kind of confused me on why you're giving an executive order and there are recommendations in the order," said Price.

Instead, he decided to look at the data for his county and district.

"If you look within the school district we are doing very, very well," said Price. "Very few staff, really what we're experiencing is more exposure than we are positive cases, as far as the school district."

Henry County will continue to operate on a hybrid schedule as it did in the fall. Trimble and Spencer counties also return to in-person learning on January 5th. Other districts like Oldham and Hardin will return to in-person learning on January 11th. Shelby and Bullitt Counties will return to the classroom on Tuesday January, 19th.

"I've been in this business for 31 years and I feel that we have a moral imperative to educate the youth of Kentucky and the nation, and the only way we're going to successfully do that is if we get them back in front of us," said Price.

Across the river in Indiana, Greater Clark County Schools opened its doors to students on Monday, Jan. 4.

"We didn't want our kids out any longer than they already were. They've been out of school for four and a half weeks since we ended early, so we felt like it was necessary to try to get our kids back into school," said Superintendent Mark Laughner.

Greater Clark started 2021 with 14 teachers already quarantining. During the fall semester, five different schools had to be shut down for at least a week. It's a move the district won't hesitate to do again.

"If we have a cluster of cases in a school or we have too many staff out because of quarantine we're going to be quick to close that school down for a week and go to virtual learning if we have to," said Laughner

The district is working closely with the county health department, monitoring the numbers daily and hope to manage the virus like they did in the fall.

Silver Creek School Corporation, Salem, and Orleans Community Schools return to in-person learning this week, while New Albany Floyd County will start online this week before returning to in person next week.

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