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JCPS to begin 2020-2021 school year with virtual instruction

JCPS will be starting the year with six weeks of NTI after the plan was unanimously approved by the school board Tuesday night.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Jefferson County Board of Education unanimously voted to approve the plan to begin the 2020-2021 school year with non-traditional instruction.

Last week, Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio recommended starting school with non-traditional instruction (NTI) for the first six weeks. Decisions on next steps would be made in two-week increments.

Pollio, his team and the board are working to make sure students do not fall behind while out of the classroom. They introduced and what they are calling NTI 2.0, which is an improved version of NTI. 

According to the district's "Onward, Together" manual, which lays out the plan for the start of the school year, a major goal of NTI 2.0 is to make sure that every student has access to a computer and high-speed internet.

Before JCPS started NTI last spring, the district had around 11,000 Chromebooks to distribute to students. The district said it now has 60,000. There will also be more than 10,000 hotspots available by the start of the school year.

The district said it is expanding on what was created this spring and working to create a more engaging, personalized learning environment.

In a recent survey, a majority of JCPS teachers indicated that they hoped the board would vote to begin the school year remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The board also voted to approve a new school calendar. JCPS instructional staff will begin on August 10 and end May 28. Students will begin classes on August 25, two weeks later than the original schedule, and end May 28. 

The new calendar is reduced from 175 instructional days to 171 and maintains 187 workdays for instructional staff. It also converts four non-instructional days into instructional days.

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