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Central Kentucky schools slowly roll out re-opening plans

Jessamine and Anderson counties announce re-opening plans while Fayette County still works on a plan.
Posted at 7:44 AM, Jul 16, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — "Will my kids go back to in-person school?" is the question parents everywhere want the answer to.

In Central Kentucky, some counties are responding with a plan.

Jessamine County is set to have the first day of school both in-person or online through their Virtual Learning Academy beginning August 26. Families have a choice as to which style of learning they want for their child and are allowed to make a switch from one to the other at the grading period intervals throughout the year.

For those who choose in-person, Jessamine County Director of Public Relations Patrice Jones said the district added: "protective protocols to include social distancing, use of masks, and temperature checks, and made changes to procedures including bus operations, classroom structures, lunchroom operations, water fountain usage, the sharing of materials, visitors on campus, and athletics and extracurricular activities."

Jones said the district will take guidance from their local Health Department should any cases of COVID-19 arise in one of the schools.

"This could include the need for students and/or staff to quarantine until they are cleared by a medical professional to return," explained Jones. "We will also work with the Jessamine County Health Department on contact tracing to identify and notify individuals who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19."

In Anderson County, parents have a choice of three options: full-time in-person enrollment with masks except for pre-K and kindergarten, virtual enrollment, or a hybrid enrollment where parents choose how many days they want their child in the classroom. Families are also allowed to change from one to the other learning style throughout the semester which scheduled the first day for August 12.

The district will enact various safety plans based on the number of cases in Anderson County and/or the school using a tiered plan which is listed on their website.

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For example, Anderson County School District will transition to guidelines listed in their 'Orange Tier,' if the county has more than 10 active cases or there is one case within the school. If a case is in the school, the class where the case was will all be sent home. If the case count bumps up to 15 or there is more than one case in a school, the whole school could be at risk of being sent home to virtual learning.

In a letter to parents, Anderson County Superintendent Shelia Mitchell said, "Thank you for your continued patience, support, and partnership during this pandemic. We missed everyone and look forward to working with you to provide the best educational option for your child(ren) for the 2020-2021 school year."

Fayette County Public Schools has yet to announce their re-opening plans and school is set to start during the week of August 24. Parents had the chance to weigh in on the matter via an online survey at the beginning of July. Re-opening plans for the second largest district in the Commonwealth are expected at the end of the week of July 20.