LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Preparations have been made across Fayette County schools ahead of a return to in-person instruction that could begin in less than two weeks.
On Tuesday, Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm announced a plan to begin the district's first phase of in-person learning on Feb. 16 if COVID-19 cases continue to decrease. Kindergarten through second grade would be the first to return to the classroom.
At Breckenridge Elementary, Principal Michael Price is ready to welcome about 200 students back into the building.
"We are so excited to get our kids back," Price said.
The school pre-screens staff and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the building with an online form.
Markers on the floor offer a reminder of social distancing. Desks feature dividers and individual supplies. In the cafeteria, where kids will have to take their masks off to eat, each student will sit at a desk a safe distance from others.
"It's really being proactive and thinking what might happen. What can we mitigate early on to prevent any additional risk?" he said.
It will be a relief to have students back in the hallways, said Molly Anderson, a special education teacher at Breckenridge Elementary.
"It's kind of creepy when there's no one else here with us and it's so quiet," she said.
It will help her to feel more connected to students.
"I'm excited to be able to support them and celebrate them and help them grow more in person," she said.
For kindergartners, it will be their first in-person class. But Price said he's confident students will adapt well to safety measures.
"For a lot of our kids this is their new normal and there's no one more resilient than kids," he said.