Classroom or virtual? Kentucky school districts making plans during the COVID-19 pandemic

School officials across Kentucky are asking for patience and understanding from parents and families.

Thursday we heard from the superintendent of Kentucky’s largest school district. Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio recommended the school year start with no in-person classes, and virtual learning for at least the first six weeks.

“There are still so many unknowns with this virus right now for both children and adults,” Dr. Pollio said during a news conference.

The majority of JCPS’ school board also favor starting school remotely for the first six weeks. A meeting to discuss further is scheduled for later this month. 

RELATED: ‘There are so many unknowns with this virus’: Pollio recommends JCPS remote start for fall semester

Smaller districts in our area have decided to open schools, but also offer students and parents options.

The Oldham County School Board approved the creation of a Virtual Learning academy, for kids who aren’t ready to return to school. Students will also have the option to return.  

Superintendent Greg Schultz says the best learning happens in the classroom, but there are many other reasons that it’s beneficial for kids to come back to the school building.

“Maybe they don’t have great internet connectivity and we have to plan for that,” Schultz said. “Maybe their parents do have to work. And then you take the social emotional components, you take the student feeding, you take the related services that many of our students need.”

Oldham County is now asking parents for feedback on options.

Non Traditional Instruction (NTI) won’t be the same as it was in the spring. Districts with virtual options are planning for a more comprehensive online experience.

“There’s a lot more accountability on behalf of the student, there is a stronger and more consistent communication between teacher and student between teacher and parent,” Hardin County Schools Director of Public Relations John Wright said. 

Hardin County Schools leaders started planning at the beginning of July. They’re collecting information from parents about which option they will choose.

School officials are asking for patience and understanding from parents and families. Conditions surrounding the virus are constantly changing and they want to assure people that they have the best interests of the students and staff in mind.

WHAS11 will update this story as districts finalize school plans. 

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