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Back to School: Opening dates and plans for Eastern Kentucky School Districts

The playbook addresses the daily operations of schools in the district.
The playbook addresses the daily operations of schools in the district.(Beatriz Reyna)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 2:52 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 7:53 AM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) -

Schools across the country are working to get plans set to return to classrooms this fall.

In Eastern Kentucky, schools vary between returning to in-person classes, a hybrid model of some in-person and some virtual, and others have recently announced they will go all virtual to start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Below are the opening plans of Eastern Kentucky School districts as of Thursday, June 30th.

Barbourville Independent

In a post to the district’s Facebook page, parents and students will have two options to choose from.

In-person and Interactive Remote learning: Students will attend in-person on alternating days, following safety guidelines and measures.

Fulltime interactive remote learning. Students will attend classes virtually, following their daily class schedule, complete the same work as peers completing in-person work and communicating regularly with teachers.

No start date is indicated.

Bell County

Bell County Schools are adopting two options for students and parents to choose to start 2020.

Students in Bell County will return to school on Tuesday, August 25th.

The Bell County School District is offering two options for students and parents to start the school year.

Option one is in-person five days a week. School officials say students will be required to follow health guidelines. Students grades 1-12 will be required to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible per KDE guidelines. Schools will have moments to take a break from masks for students if they are wearing them for a prolonged time.

Option number two is a distance/virtual learning platform. Students with access to high-speed internet are able to accomplish this on software called Oddesyware. Bell County schools will provide the necessary technology for this to be completed if needed.

The district is asking parents to complete a pre-registration for that can be found here.

Breathitt County

The Breathitt County School District is looking to start school on Monday, August 24th.

Officials are still looking into providing two options for students and parents.

Option number one is in-person learning. Students will attend classes four days a week in-person and one virtual day. All schools will have symptom screenings for students and staff. Students in grades 1-12 will be required to wear masks in common areas where social distancing is not possible.

Option number two is an online learning platform. Students will have a device provided by the district. Internet connection is required and students will have a regularly scheduled check-in with school officials. Enrollment will last for a minimum of one week.

School officials are still asking for feedback on plans. That survey can be found here.

Clay County

Students in Clay County will return to classes Monday, August 24th, following two options for learning.

Option number one is in-person five days a week. The Clay County School District will follow public health guidelines. Students grades 1-12 will be required to wear a mask where social distancing is not possible. If a student does not have their own mask the district will provide them with one. Symptom screenings will take place for students and staff. Students who require transportation on busses will be required to wear a mask and parents and guardians will be expected to check the student for fever before he/she boards a bus.

Option two is an online learning format. Students who choose this track will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities. Students are expected to have reliable internet to stream videos and Google Meets. This format will last nine weeks, and students are required to participate daily following set schedules. This format will be taught by teachers district-wide and may not be from the student’s assigned district school.

The district is providing more information answering frequently asked questions on its Facebook page.

Corbin Independent

Students will return to school on Wednesday, September 9th for in-person classes. The district will have remote options available to those who are unable to return to school.

You can see the full list of re-opening guidelines here. Disregard the original start date of August 26th at the top of the document. The school board voted Monday, August 3rd to move the date to September 9th.

You can see the updated school calendar for the 2020-2021 school year here.

East Bernstadt Independent

Students will return to classes on Monday, August 24th.

Teachers will be hosting open house meetings by appointment only on August 17th. Only two parents or guardians can accompany students for these meetings and must follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

The district has more info on its Facebook page.

Estill County

Students will start the 2020-‘21 school year in Estill County on Monday, August 24th.

At a School Board Meeting on July 16th, three options were approved for students.

Option number one is a hybrid A/B model. Students assigned schedule A will attend Mondays and Tuesdays. Students assigned model B will attend Thursdays and Fridays. On days students are not attending in person they will be attending remotely. This model will be re-evaluated weekly as things evolve.

Option number two is online remote learning. Grades 6-12 will use school-issued Chrome Books. For grades, K-5 students will use personal computers, and teachers and staff will assist those students.

Option number three is remote learning using a pencil and paper. This option is for students who do not have access to the internet.

For more information on options and other information, click here.

Floyd County

The Floyd County School District will start Tuesday, September 8th.

Parents and students will have the option between in-person five days a week learning and online.

In the in-person option, students will attend five days a week and not be required to wear a mask where social distancing is followed in classes. Students in Kindergarten and pre-K will not be required to wear masks at all.

The online option will be done on school-provided devices. Officials expect students to participate daily. Breakfast and Lunch will be provided to students who choose to go online via a bus service. Parents will need to reach out to the student’s school to request the service.

You can find more info from Floyd County here.

Harlan County

Students in the Harlan County School District will return to classes on Monday, August 31st. Students will have two choices in how they want to start the school year.

Option number one is a hybrid in-person system. Students will choose to attend on Monday/Wednesdays or Tuesday/Thursdays with Fridays being an optional day for extra help.

Option number two is an online format through the virtual learning tool Oddesyware.

Students and parents who wish to start online will need to register at the student’s district school enrollment time.

Harlan Independent

Harlan Independent Schools will start the school year on Monday, August 31st. The district right now is looking at two options for students and parents to choose from.

Option number one is a hybrid model. Students can attend Monday/Wednesday and every other Friday, or Tuesday/Thursday and every other Friday.

Option number two is full-time virtual learning.

The district is asking parents to complete a survey that can be found here.

Hazard Independent

Hazard Independent students will return to classrooms traditionally on Monday, August 24th.

The District will provide Synchronous in-person and virtual hybrid models where instruction would be delivered synchronously to students who are at school and at home through virtual live streaming.

Students who ride the bus will be required to wear a mask and will have their temperature checked before boarding by a bus monitor.

You can find more info from Hazard Independent here.

Jackson County

Students will return to classes in Jackson County on Tuesday, August 25th.

Option number one for students will be in-person learning. Students who have to ride the bus will be required to wear a facemask and have their temperature checked before boarding. Students who are dropped off at school will be required to have their temp. checked before entering the school building. Students and staff will wear masks inside where social distancing is not practical. Students in pre-school and Kindergarten are exempt from the mask rule.

Option number two is online/virtual learning. Students who choose this course will be required to participate in real-time with their peers in class. A Reliable internet service is required for this option.

You can find more info from Jackson County here.

Jackson City Independent

Jackson City students will return to classes on Wednesday, August 26th, following two options.

Option number one is an “in-person” school option. The in-person option will include a hybrid school schedule. The hybrid schedule will ensure that state expectations for social distancing are followed. The hybrid schedule will be completed after determining the number of students that decide to return to the “in-person” school. The goal is to have “in-person” learning the maximum amount of days and time each week, while still meeting state safety guidelines and expectations. It is anticipated most students would attend between 2-4 days of school per week.

Option number two is an online learning option.

Students are expected to stay enrolled for the entire semester in the option that they choose at the start of the school year.

Jenkins Independent

Jenkins Independent will start the school year on Monday, August 31st, following three options.

Option number one is remote only. Students will attend 5 days a week virtually.

Option number two is an AB/Hybrid model. In-person Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday while remote learning the remaining three days of the week.

Option number three is in-person four days a week and remote learning the fifth day.

Johnson County

The Golden Eagles will return to classes later than anticipated on Tuesday, September 1st. Parents and students will have two options to choose from.

Traditional JC Brick & Mortar where students will attend in person five days a week. Public health guidelines will be followed meaning temperature checks, social distancing, and the wearing of masks where social distancing cannot be followed.

Option number two is JC Click and Soar and online option. This will be a virtual option where students are expected to participate daily and stay on pace with peers in person.

Superintendent Thom Cochran says both options require a semester commitment and students will not be allowed to flip between options.

Knott County

Knott County students will return to class Monday, August 24th. The district is providing two plans for students to start the year.

Option number one is a virtual learning platform. Students who do not have a device to learn on will be provided one by the district.

Option number two is an in-person environment. Students will attend Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Wednesdays will be conducted virtually while all schools undergo a thorough cleaning. Students who decide to attend in person will have to follow standard public health guidelines such as masks, temperature checks, and social distancing.

Knox County

Knox County Schools are set to return Monday, August 24th while preschool will begin on Monday, August 31st.

Option number one is learning at school. Students will follow either schedule A or schedule B. Schedule A will be attending in person on Monday/Tuesday while schedule B will see students going to school Thursday/Friday. When students on this path are not in person they will be completing school work at home. Wednesdays will be virtual for all as thorough cleaning is completed.

Option number two is virtual learning through teachers’ digital classrooms. For students without a device at home, one will be provided. If wireless internet is not available at home students can access and sync their teacher’s classroom anytime they connect from another hot spot. Wireless will also be provided on every school parking lot.

You can find more info from Knox County here.

Laurel County

Laurel County Schools will return to classes on Monday, August 17th. Students can choose between in-person or online via Google Classroom.

Here is a link to frequently asked questions about the 2020-‘21 school year in Laurel County.

Lawrence County

Students in Lawrence County will return to class on Wednesday, August 26th.

Option number one is all in at school. Social distancing guidelines and mask protocols will be in place.

Option number two is all in at home with a one-semester minimum commitment. This is paced with peer learning in option number one via google classroom. Officials expect daily participation.

Option number three is all in at LC Virtual. This is a one-year commitment that is designed for individualized programming that is application based.

Contracts for all options will be available in early August.

Lee County

Lee County Schools are adjusting their calendar based on the latest recommendations to not start until later in August. This will be updated when new information is available.

Leslie County

Leslie County students will return to classes on Monday, August 24th. Students will have two options when they return.

Option number one in-person five days a week.

Option number two on-line with district-provided chrome books.

Letcher County

On Monday, July 27th, the Letcher County Board of Education voted to start the 2020-‘21 school year virtually on Wednesday, August 26th.

McCreary County

Students are set to go back on Thursday, August 27th in McCreary County. McCreary County schools will begin the year fully virtual with the district reassessing the possibility of in-person learning following the Fall break.

The Distance Learning Academy will be an online model with teacher support. It will include a combination of teacher-generated videos, other video resources, online platforms (Edmentum, iReady, etc.), and communication with teachers.

Martin County

Tuesday, August 25th will be the first day of classes in Martin County. The district has passed two separate options for students to start the school year.

Option number one is a traditional five day a week schedule with healthy at school guidelines followed.

Option number two is Cardinal Online Learning. Students taking this path will be able to participate in extracurricular activities.

Magoffin County

Magoffin County Schools will return to classes on Tuesday, September 8th. Students have the option to return to classes in-person five days a week following the health at school guidelines. For parents and students who do not want to return in-person, a virtual option is available. The district will provide Chromebooks on an as-needed basis. District officials are also working on providing internet service for those who may not have it.

Middlesboro Independent

At Middlesboro, students will return to classes on Tuesday, August 25th. The district is providing two options for parents and students.

Option number one is a Hybrid A/B option. Hybrid A entails Monday/Tuesday instruction in person and Hybrid B entails Thursday/Friday instruction. The three days a week students do not attend in person will be completed virtually on Google Classroom or Blackboard/Apex with teacher access.

Option number two is fully virtual. This option is not in the form of an NTI packet.

You can find more info from Middlesboro Independent here.

Morgan County

On Thursday, July 23rd, the Morgan County Board of Education voted to start the school year all virtual. Their starting date as of now, is Wednesday, August 26th.

Owsley County

Along with Letcher and Morgan Counties, Owsley County will start their school year completely virtual on Monday, August 24th.

Oneida Baptist Institute

The first day of school at OBI is set for Monday, August 24th. Students will return to in-person day classes as traditionally set. Christian based online courses are available.

You can find more info from OBI here.

Paintsville Independent

Paintsville intends to return to classes on Tuesday, September 1st. Plans are in the works to attend five days a week face-to-face following the Healthy at School guidelines.

Perry County

Perry County Schools will go back to classes on Monday, August 24th. Plans now are for five days a week in-person classes following the Healthy at School guidelines.

The Piarist School

The Knights will return to class on Monday, August 3rd. Students will follow the Healthy at School guidelines.

You can find more info from Piarist here.

Pike County

Pike County Schools are completing their back to school plans and all are subject to change depending on the evolving pandemic.

Students will return on Wednesday, August 26th following two options.

Option number one is a virtual platform. The district will work with families to make accommodations on an as-needed basis.

Option number two is a tradition in-person five days a week setting. Students and staff will follow the Healthy at School guidelines.

Pikeville Independent

Students at Pikeville Independent will return to class on Wednesday, August 26th. The district has a plan of action in place to gradually return on a hybrid while transitioning to full in-person classes by mid-September. While also allowing students the option to be completely virtual for the entire semester.

You can find more info from Pikeville Independent here.

Pineville Independent

The Mountain Lions are offering three options to students and parents.

Option number one is five days a week in person following Healthy at School guidelines.

Option number two is virtual on Google Classroom, Google Meet and other options. Students who choose this path are expected to complete assignments on the same schedule as their peers attending in person.

Option number three is a Hybrid A/B option. Option A is in-person Monday/Tuesday and option B is in person Thursday/Friday. When not in class students are expected to complete work virtually.

The first day of school is planned for Tuesday, August 25th.

You can find more info from Pineville Independent here.

Powell County

Powell County will return to classes on Tuesday, August 25th following two options.

Option number one is traditional five days a week in-person learning. High school and middle school students will operate as they have in the past. Elementary teachers will move between rooms.

Option number two is a virtual learning platform. Students who choose this path will be given an instructional virtual teacher.

Red Bird Christian School

Students at Red Bird will start their school year on Tuesday, September 8th. Officials have requested parents and guardians to fill out a survey to provide how they would like to see their kids return to classes. A meeting is planned for mid-August to discuss the feedback.

Restoration Christian Academy

There are three options for students at Restoration Christian Academy when they begin classes on Monday, August 24th.

Option number one is all online with a fully personalized curriculum.

Option number two is a hybrid model where students take classes online but can come to campus periodically to get help from teachers.

Option number three is full-time in person where students work in cohorts and transition around campus.

Rockcastle County

The Rockets will return to classes on Wednesday, August 26th. Students will have the option to choose between in-person and virtual learning.

Science Hill Independent

Students will start classes on Wednesday, September 9th. Parents can send their students to school in-person five days a week or choose for them to be instructed virtually.

Somerset Christian School

Students’ first day of classes starts Tuesday, August 11th. Somerset Christian will be in-person with plans in place approved by the health department.

Somerset Independent

The Briar Jumpers start classes on Wednesday, August 5th. Students and parents will have two options to choose from, in-person or virtual learning. Students grades 3-12 will be given a school-issued electronic device to use at school or home for a short-term or long-term shutdown. Click here for full plans.

Wayne County

Students will start classes Monday, August 24th. The district is providing four options for students and parents.

Option number one is students attend full time, Monday through Thursday and Fridays are NTI days.

Option number two is alternating schedules. One group goes Monday/Wednesday while group two goes Tuesday/Thursday. All remaining days would be NTI days.

Option number three is remote learning where students participate remotely from home.

Option number four is for high school students only. It is a hybrid model where students attend some classes virtually while others attend in person.

You can find more info from Wayne County here.

Whitley County

Wednesday, August 26th is the first day of classes in Whitley County. Two options are provided.

Option number one is traditional in-person following Healthy at School guidelines.

Option number two is remote learning and/or NTI packets. Families who choose this option are required to have reliable internet service. Grades 4-12 will have a Chromebook provided to them by the district. For families who do not have internet or a Chromebook or PC but want their child to be remote, the district will provide NTI packets.

You can find more info from Whitley County here.

Williamsburg Independent

As of August 5th, Williamsburg students are returning to class on Tuesday, September 8th under two plans of action.

Option number one is in-person five days a week. Students and staff will follow the Healthy at Work guidelines.

Option number two is virtual learning.

You can find more info from Williamsburg Independent here.

This new date is later than the original start date of Wednesday, August 26th.

Wolfe County

The Wolves will start their school year off on Monday, August 24th, following two plans.

Plan one is in-person instruction Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. All Wednesdays will be NTI days.

Plan two is Non-Traditional Instruction days. Parents or guardians who intend to have their children utilize NTI days are asked to contact their student’s school.

If WYMT has omitted a school district, please reach out to the newsroom at (606) 439-9968.

Superintendents, if plans change, please reach out to WYMT also and let us know what the changes are.

All of these dates and plans are subject to change depending on the ever-evolving COVID 19 pandemic.

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