BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Warren County Public Schools had its second first day of school, welcoming students with last names "K" through "Z" Tuesday morning.
What You Need To Know
- Warren County Public Schools welcomes back students in-person
- Students attend class on A/B schedule
- Initially planned to welcome back all students Aug. 24
- New rules, safety precautions in place
Initially planning to welcome all students back Aug. 24, the district decided to incorporate an A/B schedule in response to the rise in coronavirus cases throughout Kentucky. Students with last names beginning with "A" through "J" will attend class Monday and Wednesday, and students with last names starting with "K" through "Z" will attend class Tuesday and Thursday. All students will participate in online learning on Friday.
Everyone who enters the building must have their temperature checked. All students must wear masks, classrooms are socially distanced, recess and lunch are individualized by class, and students are encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day.
Principal of Lost River Elementary School Beth Croslin says between alternate scheduling and online learning, class numbers are easy to manage to keep everyone safe.
“Most classrooms, I would say are anywhere from eight to 10 students, so they can really put a lot of good space. They’re still wearing their masks when they’re inside, but we just feel better about the amount of space that we can put between them,” said Croslin.
Gov. Andy Beshear (D) advised districts to wait until Sept. 8 to welcome students back to school. Continuing with the district's original plan, WCPS has worked with the Kentucky Department of Education and the Barren River Health Department to create a comprehensive plan that includes a decision tree to help with contact tracing. Croslin says that along with having a registered nurse at the school, faculty will refer to the decision tree to help decide the level of action needed to take if a student has been exposed to the virus.
“We have assigned seats, basically everywhere the students go, lunch, classroom, everywhere so that we are able to contact trace in the case that that does happen,” said Croslin.
Students must wear their masks throughout the school day with the exception of lunch and recess. Wearing a mask for many hours of the day may have many students wanting to take them off to give themselves a break. Croslin says they have created a solution to decrease and minimize contamination.
“In the classroom, they have their space and we actually have paper bags that are individualized for students when they do take a mask break, their mask goes directly in the bag,” said Croslin.
One day under their belt, the school only reported one incident of a student showing up on the wrong day. Croslin says if parents and faculty can continue to work together, she is confident that the A/B schedule will continue proving to be a safe option to teach students in person.
“We’re really happy that our parents have so much faith in us. I know that’s hard, but we love the kids and we just want to do what’s best for them and we just hope that we can just keep educating them in person as long as we possibly can,” said Croslin.