LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Since the start of the school year, nearly 1,400 Jefferson County Public School students have tested positive for COVID-19. Students are learning in-person five days a week.
Across social media, and sent in to the WHAS11 newsroom, parents are asking if JCPS will return to virtual learning.
Can JCPS go back to virtual learning or NTI?
- Dr. Jason Glass, Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner
- Renee Murphy, JCPS Chief of Communications
No, under current state law, JCPS cannot go back to full-time virtual learning.
WHAT WE FOUND
During the last legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 208. It limited the number of NTI days Kentucky school districts can use to 10.
"We tried to look ahead at what school operation would look like in the fall and I honestly don't think anyone expected we would be in this situation,” said Dr. Jason Glass, KDE Commissioner.
JCPS spokesperson Renee Murphy said the law also limits JCPS' ability to switch to a hybrid model, where students attend both virtually and in-person.
"Laws have changed and there is not currently a mechanism in place here in Kentucky to have that long, prolonged period of NTI,” she said.
As for when those NTI days may come into play, Murphy said JCPS wants to continue learning in-person. The district does not have a set threshold for using one of the days.
If that time comes, it will be quarantined staffers that force JCPS to utilize virtual learning.
"As long as we have the number of adults in the building then we won't run into any issues," Murphy said.
Murphy said if the district burns through all 10 days, any additional NTI time taken would be made up at the end of the year. The days off during the year would be treated as school closures.
"I don't think any of us wants to shift back to a totally remote or NTI setting this, should be for a limited circumstance,” Glass said.
Murphy said the virtual Pathfinder school is an option.
RELATED: 'I'm keeping my fingers crossed': Parents wait for virtual school space as COVID cases rise
The deadline to apply was supposed to be this summer, but JCPS is still accepting applications. Right now, there is a lengthy waitlist.
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