LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The state's largest school district, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), held a virtual town hall Monday night, during which parents and citizens received answers to their back-to-school questions.
District officials say it's still undecided whether students will return to class in person, through a virtual academy or through Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) in August.
"This is going to be a challenge and a struggle, probably the greatest challenge in the history of any of our careers in anyone that is currently working," Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said.
Through a range of topics related to COVID-19, school leaders discussed things like social distancing, masks, transportation and staffing. Parents asked about online learning, grading, arts and sports.
"How do we assure the other kids on the bus and the bus driver that [students boarding] aren't COVID-19 positive?" District Spokesman Mark Hebert read aloud from an online submission.
To that point, Transportation Chief Donald Robinson said, "I mean, we have no way of knowing if they're going to be positive. If they're showing symptoms, they're sick, then we have a seat up front that's gonna be available for kids that have symptoms. Other than that, we're gonna have hand sanitizer available, we will be wiping down high touch areas to make sure we're keeping buses clean and in between runs will be wiping down high touch areas, too."
"How will you keep kids social distanced in a classroom?" parent and Parent Teacher Association member Bobbi Jo Kingery asked.
"As a parent, that would be one of my first considerations too that I'd wanna know about, and based on current guidelines, when students are required to be more than six feet apart, and then wearing masks mitigates that," Chief Operations Officer Chris Perkins said.
The archived meeting video is available online to hear all questions and comments the JCPS panel addressed.