Students to return to school Feb. 16

Most Clark County Public Schools students haven’t seen the inside of their classrooms since March 2020 except for a few days last fall, but they will be going back to school next Tuesday.

Superintendent Paul Christy sent out a letter early Wednesday afternoon and had it published on the district’s webpage and social media sites informing parents, students and staff of the decision.

He had been prepared to discuss the plan with the school board Tuesday night, but a majority of the board refused to approve the agenda for the meeting and adjourned without any discussion or action.

Christy began his letter by referencing “good news on the COVID front,” including  reductions in the number of positive cases of the coronavirus and the wider availabilty of vaccines.

He noted that all CCPS staff who wanted to be vaccinated have gotten their first shots, and the second shots, or boosters, will be administered on Feb. 27.

“With these reductions” and the vaccinations, Christy said, “I believe we are in a position to safely begin the return to in-person instruction in our schools.”

Classes will be conducted according to the A-B hybrid schedule implemented earlier this year, he said.

Under that schedule, only half of the students are in their classrooms on any given day. A students, for example, will attend classes at school on Mondays and Tuesdays and online at home on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and B students will be in the schools ons Thursdays and Fridays and attend virtually on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

All students will be virtual on Wednesdays.

The reason for the mixed instruction is that there isn’t enough space in classrooms for all students to be in their rooms at the same time and still maintain the minimum of six feet of space between desks to avoid infection.

During in-person instruction, students and teachers must continue to follow all the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Clark County Health Department, including wearing masks, distancing and use of sanitizer.

The schedule will begin on Tuesday instead of Monday because Feb. 15 is President’s Day, a federal holiday, so schools will be closed then. However, teachers and administrators will use this as a work day to prepare for in-person instruction to resume the next day.

The plan includes a potential date for the full return of students to classrooms on March 15.

Some families have opted for all virtual instruction for their students, and they can continue distance learning after hybrid instruction and eventually normal classroom instruction resumes. Christy said that about 30 percent of students have chosen the online only option.

“Please know that we will continue to monitor state and local positivity and infection rates. Should there be

changes, we may need to adjust our in-person scheduling,” Christy said in his letter. “Also, please note that for any parents who wish for their student to remain in fully virtual learning, there is an opportunity for that choice.

We understand the need for return to in-person instruction but will continue to consider student and staff safety first and foremost.”

An application to change learning platforms will be available on the Clark County School District’s website on March 18. Students enrolled in in-person instruction who want to change to all-virtual instruction may do so at any time by completing the online application.

This Friday, Feb. 12, will be the last day for meal delivery service because the school buses will be needed for transporting students. However, for those who have chosen to remain in virtual instruction, meals can be picked up at the schools beginning Feb. 16 between noon and 1 p.m.

A-B hybrid instruction times for the schools will be as follows:

Preschool 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Elementary 7:50 a.m. until 2:50 p.m.

Baker Intermediate 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Campbell Junior High 8:50 a.m. until 3:50 p.m.

GRC/ATC 8:35 a.m. until 3:35 p.m.

Phoenix Academy 8:50 a.m. until 3:50 p.m.

Bus schedules are available at the Clark County Public Schools website under the Transportation Department tab or by calling the bus garage at 859-744-5620.

More details about the plan are available on the district website at http://www2.clarkschools.net/home/

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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