Students in Ky. have option to redo school year; school districts must be given notice by May 1

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) - Students in Kentucky flip-flopped between virtual learning and in-person learning for the past year.

A new bill signed by Gov. Andy Beshear would allow public school students in grades K-12 to have a chance to repeat their current grade level.

State Senate Bill 128, also known as the “redo” bill, allows parents of these students to request to use the next academic school year to retake or supplement completed courses and grades regardless of their academic status.

This not only applies to academics but also athletics.

“If children struggled with the at-home learning, parents may say ‘let’s redo this year and let’s do it in-person.’ That is one of the requirements in Lawrence County unless it’s a student with a disability,” said Dr. Robbie Fletcher, superintendent of Lawrence County Schools. " If a student is going to repeat this year or have a supplemental year, we’re requiring them to do it in person.”

It could also bring an extra cost for some parents, though.

If a senior who graduated in May would elect to participate in the supplemental year program, they aren’t eligible for the dual credit scholarships -- leaving parents to pay the out-of-pocket costs for the college courses.

The bill would also allow high school students to have a fifth year of eligibility to play sports, as long as they don’t turn 19 before Aug. 1 provided they meet KHSAA guidelines.

“I want to encourage and caution parents there is a lot of research out there that shows retention is not the best thing,” said Bill Boblett, superintendent of Boyd County Public Schools. “They need to sit down and talk with their child, whether it’s a younger one in kindergarten or a senior, and determine what they [ as a family] want to do.”

Families must contact their school district by May 1 if they’re interested in participating.

“It’s a good option that allows parents to say ‘is this what’s best for my child?’ It’s different for different kids.,” Fletcher said.

School districts will let families know by June 1.

The redo or supplemental year must be determined on an “all or none” basis, meaning local school districts must approve the extra year for every student who applies or none.

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