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'Parents were forgotten' | Community helps families as Louisville schools remain remote

Jefferson County Public Schools announced Friday morning they would make a decision by Jan. 17 on whether the district would continue using NTI days.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) has used four of the district's ten allotted non-traditional instruction days this week.

The switch to virtual instruction was swift as the district experienced staffing shortages and the city experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Some parents have said they aren't happy with the change, asking for more consistency.

Kentucky State Representative Josie Raymond (D-District 31) and Louisville Metro Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong (D-District 8) said that NTI days and remote learning have posed a challenge for working parents trying to find childcare.

On Jan. 14, they partnered with Glow Worm Play Cafe on Barret Avenue to provide free play sessions for JCPS parents. 

“To have policymakers say 'we see you, we hear you, and we’re going through the same things,'" Raymond said. 

RELATED: 'I wasn't happy about it': Parents react to JCPS NTI announcement

Cafe owner Katie Read said all three sessions for the day were fully booked, indicating the high need in the community for childcare. 

“I can’t stress enough that I feel like parents were forgotten about in the last two years," she said. 

JCPS parent Lee White brought her own son to the play session for the first time Friday.  She said she'd hesitated to take him to daycare or Pre-K during the pandemic, but felt safe at Glow Worm. 

It also provided her with a space to work in peace. 

“You don’t have anywhere to go, there’s nowhere to take your kids and you really feel like the safest place is with you," she said. “At home, his attention span is five or ten minutes. It's constant 'mommy, mommy, mommy,' so I'm starting and stopping, starting and stopping.”

Friday morning, Pollio said he understood the frustration for parents. 

"I have a daughter that wants to be in school and tells me that every day," he said. "But we have to be able to do it safely."

The school district is expected to make an announcement by Monday afternoon on whether the district would continue utilizing NTI days.

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GRACE MCKENNA

Contact reporter Grace McKenna at gmckenna@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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