LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Fayette County Public Schools revealed an updated plan for in-person learning to adjust to the rampant spread of the omicron variant during a press conference Friday.
Superintendent Demetrus Liggins discussed the rapid spread of omicron in the schools and the plan of action moving forward based on current health guidelines.
FCPS will keep taking a measured approach to things. Face coverings inside the buildings will continue for the foreseeable future. This allows kids to avoid a quarantine period if exposed at school given that they were wearing masks.
“We will transition to remote instruction when it is appropriate and when we find ourselves in a situation where it is impossible to create a condition where we can continues to have a safe environment at school, whether that be the amount of substitutes, or class coverages we can have, or whether there is a wide-spread outbreak of illness," said Dr. Liggins.
Voluntary testing will also be available at every school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by appointment beginning January 19. At this time, NTI or remote learning is on the table for discussion, but isn't an option right now.
“We’re looking at individual instances where we can determine whether or not it (NTI) is appropriate to do so, whether it is needed, and so far we have not had that experience. We’ve been really stretched thin, but it’s not to a point where we’ve had to close down the schools," said Dr. Liggins.
“We’re going to do what’s right for our kids. We’re going to do what’s right for our staff, and if we have to go beyond those ten days (state allotted NTI days), then we’ll definitely do so.”
LFCHD representatives were also at the FCPS press conference Friday. They are on board with this plan, but remain on standby to recommend changes as warranted.
"It’s just a continuation of our partnership with the district in terms of trying to do what’s best for their parents, students and staff," said Jessica Cobb of LFCHD. "And we’re very pleased with Fayette County’s decision to continue to have a mask mandate in schools.”
Superintendent Liggins said that absences for students are up 2%. Normally 94% full, now at 92% on average. Teacher absences have been high, but not to a point they can’t be covered—yet.
Chrome books will go home with students daily in the event a decision has to be made on NTI quickly, or for weather reasons.
No decisions regarding proms or graduation have been made yet, and it is too soon to tell.
The $200 vaccine incentive for staff seems to have worked as most are vaccinated.