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JCPS details plans for return to in-person instruction; Pollio says return could come in March

Dr. Pollio told members of the school board last week, a staggered reopening could begin in mid-March with elementary schools if the plan is approved by the board.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio presented a more comprehensive plan for the district’s reopening at Tuesday’s board meeting.

"We know that we are able to do it and we are confident that we're able to do it," Dr. Pollio said.

He also revealed a staggered re-opening of schools could be the third week in March for elementary students. For middle and high schoolers, they could potentially return the week following spring break. That's all based on the schedule for staff vaccinations.

In the plan to re-open, elementary students would go back to in-person, if parents choose, five days a week. Middle and high schools would have a hybrid schedule, with part remote and part in-person learning. The district said ventilation will be a high priority, as well as social distancing in classrooms, common areas and meal times.

"Part of our mitigation strategy is not just to continue with our current regimen, but with additional equipment and additional rounds of cleaning," Chris Perkins, JCPS COO, said. 

The district said its biggest challenges of re-opening will be transportation, with a lack of drivers right now, plus custodial vacancies, and other staffing. But Dr. Pollio said JCPS has plans to get that all worked out before any potential return to school.

"Safety is just not about our students. we are definitely making sure our staff and all employees are safe and healthy when we return to school," Robert Moore, Chief of Schools, said. 

Dr. Pollio has not yet presented a formal recommendation for return to school and any decision still faces a board vote. 

A virtual town hall to answer questions from parents and others about the reopening is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. on the JCPS YouTube page.

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