Central Ky. school districts weighing virtual learning options for upcoming year

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - As schools begin preparing for the return of students, we’ve seen some districts continue to offer virtual learning, like they did during the pandemic. While others, like Scott County, have decided they would rather solely focus on in-person learning.

In April, Scott County’s superintendent told us they planned to offer virtual learning for families who wanted it.

“We even created some virtual teaching positions and even had on slate to have a virtual academy principal,” Dr. Kevin Hub said.

At that same time, they told us only around 1% of the district’s students had signed up for the program. Dr. Hub said in the end, the data said they didn’t need to offer virtual instruction.

“Just because our plan right now is to not offer virtual learning as a separate pathway for an undetermined amount of students, if the data suggests that we need to have a virtual option, we’re going to be able to make that pivot just like other districts are going to be able to,” Dr. Hub said.

The state’s education commissioner said his recommendation was for school districts to think about a variety of different educational options. But he also knows it’s up to each district.

“That’s a completely local decision so I trust that that’s what’s best for them and their community. And I hope that that decision works well for them,” Dr. Jason Glass said.

Other districts are offering the virtual option. Madison County leaders anticipate around 10% of their total enrollment might be virtual.

“As we inch closer and closer you know, those nerves kind of come back. Because we want to be prepared for whatever we are facing at that moment. But we won’t know until we know,” said Erin Stewart with Madison County School District.

Both districts prefer to teach kids in person.

“Not only do they do better academically, but socially and their personal growth is much better when they are around their peers and with the adults that they are used to being around during the day,” Stewart said.

And Scott County will still have resources, including teachers possibly tutoring them at home, for students who can’t come to school for medical reasons.

The first day of school in Scott County is August 18. Dr. Hub says they’ll be making decisions about what that learning will look like right up until the days before.

Kindergarten through 8th graders in Madison County can enroll in the Madison County Virtual Academy. High school students will have offerings in each high school that are virtual.

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