LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In a letter to parents, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) wrote the district plans to extend the period of Non-traditional Instruction (NTI).
JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said they are closely reviewing COVID-19 data in the community.
Dr. Pollio made it clear that the current data and trends for COVID-19 make the previous return to school date of October 22 not possible. Dr. Pollio cited that the community’s current rate of 24 cases per 100,000 is significantly higher than the 10 cases per 100,000 threshold the board was aiming for. The superintendent expressed his worries about the positivity rate in the county as well.
“The positivity rate in this community has increased to 8.1 percent which is very alarming,” he said.
Dr. Pollio said he is aware of the stress, pressure, and frustration that students and parents have been experiencing since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“It’s already a worst-case scenario when we look from March to now with kids being out of class. We still have to go by safety and health and be very intentional when supporting kids,” he said.
Dr. Pollio said an updated and detailed plan for a safe return to in-person classes will be discussed at the Board of Education meeting scheduled for Tuesday. He encourages parents to join in the conversation.
“Next Tuesday at a special board meeting, talking about all the preparations that have happened for back to school. we want all of our plans to look at the plans and make a decision whether once we go back to school if they choose the virtual academy and stay virtual or whether they choose to go back in person,” he added.
Dr. Pollio is confident about a return to in-person classes this school year. But, says that the process will be sped up if they see a sharp reduction in cases and cut to the positivity rate.
“Wear a mask, social distance, stay away from large groups. all of these things, the more we do that, the quicker we get back to school,” he said.
He encourages parents and students to do their best with NTI that it is the safest decision to protect both the at risk population as well as the students. He promises the board’s support for when in-person classes resume.
“We also know it’s not the same we have to be very intentional that when we come out of this the interventions and support we give to students to make up for lost time,” he said.
JCPS’s board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 20 at 6:30pm.