LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools shifted to NTI this week due to COVID-19 cases in hundreds of staff members, Superintendent Marty Pollio said Friday.

The district will re-evaluate whether they'll return to in-person classes next week after Monday's day off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

What You Need To Know

  • JCPS moved to NTI this week

  • Administrators say this is because of staff and faculty being out sick

  • They say they'll be monitoring absence reports for Tuesday through the weekend

  • The answer will be given on Monday on if students can return to school this next week

“Last Thursday we had over 1,100 staff absences, which was between 15-20% of our entire staff, and makes it very challenging obviously to run and operate school in a safe manner," Pollio said.

Students spent their week in Non-Traditional Instruction, but this wasn't their first rodeo. Students spend the lion share of last year in NTI. Pollio said things seemed to fall into place as students went from getting on a bus to go to a classroom to getting up and logging on to a virtual classroom for the week.

“With this third round, this short-term NTI, we really feel like it has in many ways been seamless. So many teachers just move right into this instruction on Google meets. The kids jumped on Tuesday morning and were ready to go," he said.

When asked about participation numbers in the online classroom, Pollio said that's a measurement they don't currently have since it hasn't gone through the Kentucky Department of Education yet. However, he's heard good reports from instructors.

“What we’re hearing from schools is attendance has been much better than it’s ever been in NTI – especially with synchronous instruction. I think kids are more used to that," Pollio said.

The school isn't sure yet when students will return. They're keeping tally of the 4 days of NTI they've used so far.

“We only have 6 more days so we have to use them wisely. If there is any way we can be back on Tuesday we will make that decision," Pollio said.

He said they'll be monitoring reports of absences that come in through the weekend and will be making that call on Monday.