LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) used four days of Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) this week because of staffing shortages due to COVID-19.
JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said the district had over 1,100 staff absences on Jan. 6, which is between 15 to 20% of the district's entire staff.
According to state law, school districts only have 10 days of NTI for the entire school year. However, lawmakers and other school districts are pushing for additional days as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
This is JCPS's third time transitioning to NTI over the course of the pandemic - once in March 2020 and again in August that same year.
Pollio said this most recent round of NTI has been short-term and the transition has been "seamless."
On Jan 12, the superintendent said JCPS had more than 1.4 million visits on Google Classrooms across the district, and more than half a million Google Meets sessions between teachers and students.
"Obviously kids are being very engaged and working hard. Our faculty knows how to do NTI better and our students do as well," Pollio said.
Pollio also said that on Jan. 11 and Jan. 13, the only two days the district gave out food for students this week, they served over 75,000 meals to JCPS families.
As for keeping students, families and staff safe from COVID-19, Pollio announced that JCPS testing sites at some schools will have extended hours in the afternoon and evenings.
He said the district would also take a look at expected absences as they are reported Friday afternoon and throughout the weekend.
Pollio said that they plan on making a decision by Monday afternoon next week on whether to continue with NTI instruction.
"Our goal here is to get students back to in-person as quickly as possible," Pollio said. "But we also have to make sure that we can do it safely and that we can provide great instruction while we're doing that."
Dr. Marty Pollio's full Friday morning press conference: