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JCPS releases updated back-to-school guidance

The district has not released a timeline for when students will be able to go back to classrooms, since it will depend on COVID-19 cases in the county.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Jefferson County Board of Education will meet Tuesday night to discuss a proposed plan to get Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) students back in classrooms.

JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said he is hoping that students will be able to return to in-person instruction sometime this school year, but it will depend on the COVID-19 positivity rate in the county. 

The district posted its proposed reopening plan online, and it is similar to what was approved in September, before the rise in COVID-19 cases led to an extension of non-traditional instruction (NTI).

According to the proposed plan, elementary and pre-k students would be the first to return to in-person instruction. One week later, 6th and 9th grade students would return to schools. A week after that, all other students would join them. At this time, JCPS does not have a target date for when these phases will begin.

Once students do resume in-person instruction, the district said middle and high school students would follow a hybrid schedule, with some days completed in-person and some completed virtually. Wednesdays would be a remote learning day for everyone to allow extra time for cleaning, student support and teacher planning.

Other aspects of the plan include how students will ride the bus, how lunch will be served and other precautions that will be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19. The full plan can be read here.

The district said 60% of families who completed a recent survey said they were ready to return to in-person instruction, while 40% said they preferred to stay virtual. However, the district said those results don’t reflect everyone, since more than half of JCPS families had not completed the survey yet.

Dr. Pollio said families and students weren’t the only ones the district had to consider when putting together a plan to return to the classroom. He said nearly one-third of the teachers in the district are considered “high risk” of getting COVID-19. More than 2,100 staff members had filed for accommodations “because they are in a high risk category,” according to Dr. Pollio.

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