IRVINE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Many school districts are back to some in-person learning this week after having to go 100% for most of 2020.
Estill County was one of the first to go back last week, despite Gov. Andy Beshear asking schools to wait until the January 11.
Superintendent Jeff Saylor told LEX 18 last week, "Our goal this spring is to go in-person as many days as we can."
Schools reopened on Monday January 4 when the county's incidence rate of COVID-19 was below the threshold Superintendent Saylor and the board settled on.
It's still below 50 currently, but that number now includes students and staff inside school buildings.
According to the school’s dashboard, there are eight active cases: four students and four staff members. Across the district, 23 students and 16 staff members are now in quarantine. Eight of the staff members work at Estill Springs Elementary.
The Superintendent declined our request for an interview today, but he did speak to LEX 18 over the phone for about 10 minutes. He said the majority of cases within Estill County schools are due to community spread, not necessarily what's happening at school.
Many parents posted their approval for the decision to return that was made last month. But Jessica Cain was critical of Saylor's choice to not consult the health department before deciding to open even earlier than Gov. Beshear advised.
"I just feel like that it was a bad decision. A decision that should have been made with local officials, like our health department and following the governor's recommendations. I don't feel like it was safe for our children to return to school so early," said Cain.
Saylor says the decision to continue in-person learning next week will be determined by Thursday's numbers.