The Letcher County Schools District has set an opening date for the 2020-21 school year, as well as plans for in-person instruction two days per week for students amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a post on the school district’s Facebook page, opening day for students in the new school year will be Aug. 26, with staff members reporting on Aug. 17. Students will be given the option to attend in-person classes two days per week, with three days of virtual learning, or they may choose to participate in virtual learning full-time.
According to the school district, students choosing in-person instruction will be placed into one of two groups, with one group attending in-person classes on Monday and Wednesday, and the other attending in-person classes on Tuesday and Thursday. No in-person classes will be held on Fridays. All in-person instruction must follow social distancing guidelines, and there will also be social distancing guidelines in place for student arrival, which will also include temperature screenings.
Students will also be provided with a Chromebook or other digital device, and they must carry all of their instruction materials with them in order to have all of their necessary materials at home with them during virtual learning.
Below, find the text from the school district detailing the plans for students’ return to school.
From the Letcher County Schools District:
Pending approval from the Board of Education, we are pleased to announce the first day of school for Letcher County students will be August 26, 2020, with staff beginning on August 17, 2020.
The health and safety of our students and staff is our first priority, and we will follow the guidelines set forth by the Kentucky Department of Education, the Department of Public Health, the Governor’s Office, and the CDC. Students will be offered the opportunity to attend in-person classes two days a week with the other three days virtually or to attend full-time virtually. All students will be provided a Chromebook/device to use while completing virtual classes.
• Students attending in-person classes will be placed in two groups. One group will attend on Monday and Wednesday; the other group will attend Tuesday and Thursday. There will not be in-person classes on Fridays. Staff will plan and execute virtual lessons.
• While attending in-person classes, social distancing protocols will be followed.
• All students and staff will be screened for temperatures prior to entering the school buildings daily. Upon arrival, students will report directly to classrooms, where they will be supervised by staff.
• While in classrooms, students will be seated at least 6 ft. apart. Masks must be worn on buses, while transitioning, and when closer than 6 ft. Preschool and Kindergarten students will not be required to wear a mask. We will provide a cloth mask for each student and staff member.
• Each school will stagger arrival and dismissal times to maintain spacing. All floors will be marked as reminders to show appropriate spacing.
• Students will not rotate classes except at the high school; the teachers will rotate when appropriate. Breakfast and lunch will be served in classrooms to prevent large numbers in the cafeterias.
• Proper hand hygiene will be encouraged, and hand sanitizer will be readily available throughout each building.
• Students will be asked to carry all materials with them so they will have what they need at home.
• Only in-person students will be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities/athletics. Our goal is to limit exposure for all students.
• Detailed records/seating charts will be maintained for the purpose of contact tracing.
• All facilities will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times throughout the day.
For students who ride buses, we ask that parents/guardians check temperatures before putting their children on the bus. If a temp is higher than 100 degrees, please keep the student at home. Masks on the bus are necessary because we cannot keep them 6 ft. apart. As soon as they board the bus, we ask that they use the hand sanitizer that is provided. Once the students arrive at school, a school employee will check each child’s temperature. Students will be assigned seats on the bus, and siblings will be asked to sit together. Detailed seating charts will be maintained for the purpose of contact tracing. All buses will be cleaned and disinfected after each run.
Each school will have a designated area for isolation of sick students supervised by adults until a parent/guardian can pick the student up. Each school will be served by our MCHC School Based Clinics and a school nurse.
We are excited and look forward to reopening schools. We will stay in contact with our local health department, KDE, and the CDC to ensure we are following appropriate procedures to keep our students and staff safe. We will be flexible and ready to make changes as necessary and as advised. In the coming weeks, we will work to ensure that all procedures and protocols are in place and ready for the arrival of students. Each school will be communicating specific plans with families as soon as possible. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact the central office at 633-4455.