LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest district and one of America’s 30 largest districts, announced Thursday that its plan to return to in-person classes on Oct. 22 has been delayed.
The district sent the following email to JCPS families on Thursday:
Like many of you, there is nothing we want more than to have students and staff back in our school buildings. But we won’t do that until we know it is safe for our students, their families and our employees.
As we closely review the data and trends of COVID-19 cases in our city, it is not possible to safely begin our return-to-school on October 22nd, as we had hoped. When we see a significant reduction in the number of cases, we will consult local and state health officials and make a determination about when we can safely return to in-person instruction.
JCPS wants to assure families that a plan is in place to safely reopen our schools when the data supports that decision. An updated and detailed plan for a safe return to in-person classes will be discussed at our Board of Education meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m. Our updated planning document will be available on our website tomorrow.
You have been patient, understanding and cooperative during this time and we thank you for your support of JCPS!
Parents of JCPS students told WAVE 3 News they are disappointed in the delay.
“We’re over it, you know. Something’s got to give,” Leah King told WAVE 3 News.
King’s first-grade son seems to enjoy school. She said he’s been doing well with NTI and JCPS has been helpful in his adjustment, but it’s been hard for her and her husband to juggle watching their younger children while also helping their first-grade son stay on track with learning.
“I like math, reading, fun stuff,” he told WAVE 3 News. “I want to stay at school with my friends all day.”
King said she’d like to see an option to even send kids back to school just a few days a week.
“It’s been hard work,” she said. “I think it’s insane to keep on going about it like this when everything else, even big crowded activities like Boo at the Zoo is open and allowing public.”
Jaarad Taylor, a father of two JCPS students, told WAVE 3 News his second and fourth-grader are doing okay with NTI and have adjusted. However, like his kids, he too wishes they were back in the classroom.
“It’s tough, and I even mentioned to my son this morning, I looked at my calendar and I said, ‘Hey buddy you know in about a week you’ll probably be going back to school,’” Taylor said. “And as soon as I said that I jinxed myself, but you know, I’ve been watching the numbers the last few days and it didn’t look very promising. I guess I kind of knew it was coming.”
He said as much as he wants the kids back in the classroom, he doesn’t want the district to rush the process of returning in-person.
“It’s best if it’s safe before we go back,” Taylor said. “Because there are kids out there who have single parents, elderly parents, that are taking care of them. And if that kid brings that home and infects that caretaker, that grandmother or grandfather, whoever they are living with, and they die, that’s their only caretaker. And so I totally understand it, but I want to make sure it’s safe. And if we have to wait a couple more weeks, then we have to wait a couple more weeks. We’ll get through it.”
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