LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio wants every school in the district to require masks for all students, staff, and visitors. 

What You Need To Know

  • JCPS superintendent Marty Pollio is recommending a universal mask policy for the beginning of the school year

  • The Jefferson County Board of Education meets Tuesday night to vote on the recommendation

  • Gov. Andy Beshear asked districts to implement a mask policy on Monday because of the coronavirus

  • The recommendations come as cases of COVID-19 rise in Kentucky, fueled mostly by cases in unvaccinated people

“The past two years, obviously, we’ve had to miss school days as a result of COVID,” he said. “And there is nothing more important to me right now — well, safety and health is first — but outside of that, nothing more important than making sure our kids are in school every single day this year.”

Pollio’s recommendation comes after Gov. Andy Beshear asked districts to implement a mask policy on Monday.

The governor wants any unvaccinated student or staff member to wear a mask, but he encourages districts to make the policy universal.

Pollio says keeping track of who is vaccinated can be tough.

“The challenge with that is great, and nearly impossible for a large school district to truly track who is vaccinated and who isn’t,” Pollio said.

Pollio says he’ll work with the school board to monitor how the policy works, but at least on his end, his recommendations will follow what leading health experts say.

“I understand when people are upset with it, but also we don’t know what the next couple of months are going to bring, especially with this delta variant,” Pollio said. “So if the local entities — if the health departments, the public health groups, the Kentucky Department of Education — changes their guidance for us, and we will continue to look for them, then I would be happy to bring a different recommendation to our board of education.”

But for now, those groups say wearing masks is the best way to avoid any disruptions to the school year.

The Jefferson County Public School board meets Tuesday night to vote on the recommendation.