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Navigating a new school year and a pandemic

Posted at 8:19 PM, Jul 22, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A question on every parent's mind right now is whether schools will reopen in time for the school year, and what classrooms will look like.

In order to start tackling these difficult questions, Kentucky's Department of Education held a virtual meeting to help prepare principals and school leaders for this unprecedented school year.

Interim Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education Kevin Brown acknowledges that what may work for one school may not work for another, but ultimately all schools have to be ready for their plans to change quickly.

"We already have districts that are making plans to begin the year with complete NTI at least for the first six weeks or so," Brown said. "Jefferson and Marshall counties and others are planning this, and others still are taking a wait and see approach, with plans to start back with full in-person, but also knowing they may have to change."

Another difficult discussion schools are having is how to deal with not only a student testing positive but a teacher. One of the issues that may make this more complicated is a lack of substitute teachers this year. Kay Kennedy with The Office of Finance and Operations within the Department of Education says because of the virus, many substitutes may not return. This lack of subs could result in schools and classes having to resort to NTI days at some point.

Officials are also trying to figure out transportation and recommend schools poll parents on how they plan on getting their kids to school. Schools should be prepared however that plans could change throughout the year, and new bus routes may have to be made.