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Fayette County School Board votes to start 2020-2021 school year with non-traditional instruction

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 23, 2020

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Fayette County Board of Education has voted to start the 2020-2021 school year with non-traditional instruction (NTI), which would include virtual learning.

The board members made the decision during a Thursday afternoon meeting. Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk voiced his support for non-traditional instruction (NTI) during the meeting after seeing what was described as a "substantial spread" of COVID-19 cases in Fayette County.

"Right now, there appears to be a summer surge," said Caulk.

Caulk said when looking at the numbers, it's "clear" to see Fayette County is at a substantial spread when it comes to COVID-19.

The Fayette County School Board went over the results of a survey sent to parents two weeks ago. Almost 90% of families responded and the more popular choice was a hybrid model, which would involve two days in the classroom and three days at home learning virtually. Another option was full return to school, with every child wearing a mask. That option also gave parents the right to keep their children at home for virtual learning if they preferred.

Reopening safely in the middle of a pandemic would require large scale planning.

"They're concerned about their families," said Jessica Hiler, President of the Fayette County Education Association, which represents more than 1,000 Fayette County school teachers. "They're concerned about what we do if we have a positive test in our classroom, or who quarantines. All of these unanswered questions."

Gov. Andy Beshear said during a Thursday afternoon news conference that as of right now, he would not ask teachers to come back to the classroom. The governor said if things don't begin to stabilize by early next week, he would ask schools planning to open in-person next month to delay those plans.

More details about the plan should be released in the near future.