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Kentucky school board addresses concerns about going back to school

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 4:02 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky’s school leaders met Thursday to discuss plans to start the new school year.

Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman and Interim Education Commissioner Kevin Brown gave presentations in the virtual meeting. More than a dozen educators and board members discussed the concerns of kindergartners wearing face masks and how to proceed with social distancing guidelines.

“Even if you used gymnasiums and gym spaces, cafeteria spaces, If you got 2,000 students in your school, that’s going to be virtually impossible,” said Alvis Johnson, a board member.

Coleman says they are utilizing every possible resource to help find more wifi access for students, since more districts are choosing to start the year virtually, or at least, having some of their students learn from home.

Coleman also said teachers will be able to use emergency days if they are quarantined in case a student tests positive in their classroom.

Another concern teachers have is that some districts are asking teachers to teach in person during the day and virtually at night. Brown says that funding is a big concern.

“So if we do in fact have a situation where a teacher is working a full day in-person but then are in virtual classes at night, that in something we need to look further into,” said Brown.

One of the associate commissioners told the board that 109 school districts are offering a hybrid option when they return to school. 26 schools are returning completely virtually.

“As I said earlier we are running on fumes. Not just saying that to exaggerate or to be cute but that’s the truth,” said Brown.

The state school board also heard from the post-secondary education commissioner who says a third of college students will be returning to campus for in-person learning, a third will take courses virtually and a third will do a combination of both.

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