LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Many parents are caught between staying home with children during online learning this fall and having to work full-time.

What You Need To Know

  • JCPS announces NTI for the first weeks, leaving some working parents with a dilemma

  • Superintendent Marty Pollio looks to local businesses, like Humana, to help out

  • One parent expresses her concerns

Jefferson County Public Schools will stick with Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) for the first six weeks of school. Because of the hardship this puts on some parents, Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said he's spoken with some Louisville employers about having grace on the employees who need to work from home.

Parent Jessie Whitish knows what it's like to work from home and care for her 4-year-old full-time. Her son, Nash, has one more year of preschool before starting Kindergarten. Luckily, she works for Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) which is accommodating. 

Still, working from home isn't the dream she may have imagined. 

"It doesn't necessarily help us do any better in terms of giving him more attention," she explained. 

Of course, not all parents have the option to work from home. 

"Being as flexible as possible with parents right now really means so much, because I know at my workplace I really feel supported and valued because my employer is like, 'we know you have a lot of stuff going on'" Whitish said. "The reality is, there's not a lot of good childcare options... and you know, I think parents are gonna face the decision of 'do I keep working and juggle this, or do I need to stop working?'"

During the latest JCPS Board of Education meeting, members brought up the childcare dilemma. 

"Employers have to show grace, and we talked about showing grace for our teachers and everything, but I think here employers also need to show grace for our parents that are gonna be impacted by this," Board Member Chris Brady said. 

Pollio said he's been in talks with one of Louisville's largest employers about accommodations for working parents, mentioning a conversation he had with Humana. 

"About 90% of their employees are staying at home throughout the course of the year, I believe is what they told me, that they are willing to offer their services as far as building-wise as support if we wanted to bring students into one of their buildings so we're working with them to look at some options," said Pollio. 

Humana confirmed most employees will stay home longer, and that there are more supports in place for working parents.

Whitish hopes other companies can offer similar accommodations. She still hasn't decided if Nash will go back to his center.

"There's like no amount of reassurance that anybody can give us to make us feel like we're making the right decision," she explained.