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FCPS special program students unsure of what is next

Posted at 7:26 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 19:42:51-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — This past Monday, kindergarteners, first-graders and second-graders in Fayette County School District were given the opportunity to return to in-person learning.

Shortly after, officials released a list of when other graders will be able to return to their buildings.

Starting on March 3, grades 3-5 will return followed by grades 6,9, and 12 on March 8. Lastly on March 15, 7-11 grades will return.

This doesn't include kids who are part of some special programs.

Students who attend Eastside Technical, Locust Trace AgriScience, and Southside Technical centers will report to their home high schools for the entire day.

Fayette County Public Schools says they hope to have an announcement out before March 15, but currently, students who attend these schools will continue to learn virtually: Carter G. Woodson Academy, Family Care Center, Martin Luther King Academy, Opportunity Middle College, STEAM Academy, Success Academy, The Learning Center, and The Stables.

Shannon Helton is a mother of a 10th grader who attends STEAM Academy. She says not having a start date for her son to participate in in-person learning has been a difficult pill to swallow.

"I was really happy to hear we finally had confirmed dates for almost all the students, almost 95 percent of them. They were very soon, March 15 was the latest date, but it was like a gut punch to hear that special programs were not included, and they are still up in the air," says Helton.

Myron Thompson, Chief Operating Officer for Fayette County Public Schools says they are working on getting these kids to in-person learning but it's challenging because they are bused from all around the district. They currently have a shortage of about 50 bus drivers making the transportation issue that much more challenging.

"It takes our routing department a minimum of two weeks to plot all of that out and due to our shortage, some of those folks whose job it may be to route may be behind the wheel driving. So, it's sort of a compounding issue that if they are having to do that then they can't build the routes so it's a very complex problem to address," says Thompson.