BOURBON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With just weeks left in this semester, Bourbon County Schools are switching to online learning before Thanksgiving.
Superintendent Amy Baker made the announcement Monday night in a letter to parents.
“When we make these decisions, we know they're really hard on families,” Baker told LEX 18 on Tuesday.
A recent COVID-19 outbreak means the schools in the district will switch to NTI learning for five full days, starting on Wednesday. Students will return to the classroom the Monday after Thanksgiving.
“Yesterday what prompted us to get together and talk more about a decision was we had 14 positive cases pop up in our high school and our middle school,” said Deanna Berry, the District Health Coordinator for Bourbon County Schools.
According to the letter from Superintendent Baker, kids in the 3rd through 12th grade with internet access at home will participate in online class during NTI learning. Students in kindergarten through 2nd grade and those without internet will get learning packets.
One high school senior who lives in nearby Nicholas County said he might not attend school in Bourbon County, but he understands the challenges of virtual learning.
“I've learned, it's especially hard,” the homeschooled student said. “Me as a high schooler, it's a bit easier. But parents with younger kids and stuff, those packets are this big.”
Superintendent Baker acknowledged the stress of learning from home, especially for the 60 families in the district without internet. She said the district works with those families to make sure students can still learn.
“Last year we took out hotspots for those students,” she said. “We try to give them resources that will help them. There are other ways besides using technology that we can communicate with those families.”
But she also said safety remains their top priority as the pandemic stretches far into this school year.
“I’m just so exhausted,” she said. “But I know we have to stay on course for our students.”
According to Berry, about half of the district’s students have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The district is partnering with the health department to host a vaccine clinic on Thursday.