LINCOLN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lincoln County Public Schools announced it will provide all students with free school supplies for the 2020-21 school year to help relieve some of the financial pressure for families amidst the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
"We know that this pandemic has affected our families in many ways, so we felt like this was a way that we could help," Stanford Elementary School Assistant Principal Julia Duncan said. "We could take this burden off of them."
Duncan said the supplies will already be in the classroom, ready for students on the first day of school.
For some families, this move will save hundreds of dollars.
For example, parent Jamie Hatter has three students in the school district and said that this would save her family about $400. That's the amount she spent on supplies last year, not including clothes and shoes.
"That's a huge expense!" she said.
Hatter was thrilled to learn that supplies would be taken care of and said it helps to ease some of the anxiety of heading into the school year during a pandemic.
"It's just one less thing that we, as parents, have to worry about when we're thinking through all the logistics of sending our kids back to school during a pandemic," Hatter said.
Students will need to provide their own backpacks.
A district spokesman said the CARES Act is funding the supplies, which will also include Chromebook rentals for students who opt to learn virtually through the Patriot Learning Academy.
He added that about 65% of the about 3,400 students in Lincoln County will attend class in person when school resumes in about three weeks.
Duncan said families can change their minds at any time if they would rather learn virtually.
"We've asked that students that start in person if they feel at any time during their in-person experience that that isn't the right choice for them and they prefer to do the Patriot Learning Academy, we are going to make that transition for them as quickly as possible, probably immediately," Duncan said. "If students who have selected the Patriot Learning Academy decide that they really feel like in-person is better for them, we're going to offer that to them at the semester break."