LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Jefferson County Board of Education approved its school plan for the 2020-21 school year on July 21. Students will officially start their year using online Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) beginning Aug. 25.
Students will receive instruction through NTI for the first six weeks, then the district will reassess the learning environment and make a decision on moving forward.
“We are always going to do what is best for our students and staff” said board chairwoman Diane Porter. “While all of us want our children and teachers together in classrooms, we believe starting the school year with at-home learning is the right thing to do as we meet the academic, social and emotional needs of students and staff.”
Teachers and instructional staff will begin 11 days of in-service training and professional development Monday, Aug. 10. The training will help them prepare for the upcoming school year's NTI, called "NTI 2.0".
This year, NTI will include more robust and engaging activities for students while lessons occur on a more consistent schedule with greater communication between students and teachers. These new changes to NTI are meant to more closely resemble regular classroom learning.
For those in need, JCPS will provide support and technology resources.
“The health and safety of our students and staff continues to be our highest priority,” said Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio after the board’s vote. “I applaud the Board of Education for its bold action tonight to reduce the threat of exposure to COVID-19 for our JCPS students, staff and families.”
When schools do welcome back in person learning, the district will still provide an option for online learning if families don't wish to return.
JCPS's school year is also amended, giving students 171 days of instruction rather than the typical 175. The calendar still maintains 187 days for teachers and instructional/school staff.
Other changes to the calendar include switching four days that had previously been non-school days for students to instructional days. The days include Oct. 6, Nov. 2, Jan. 4 and March 26. The last day of the school year, assuming there are no weather or other delays, will be May 27 for students and the following day for teachers and instructional staff.
Pollio announced his recommendation for the school board last week, saying “the COVID-19 crisis has left us with only imperfect options for our return to school this fall.”