TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Thousands of Kentucky students are back in class one week ahead of Governor Andy Beshear’s recommended start date.
Henry, Spencer, Trimble and Taylor counties all decided to start in-person instruction this week instead of waiting until January 11. Spencer County Schools had its first day back on Tuesday.
Although many students in Spencer County were excited to see their classmates, about 1/4th of them chose to stay in NTI for now. Even behind the masks there were smiles at Spencer County Middle School as students there posed for first-day-back photos.
“He does have a buddy and that does motivate him,” said parent Jennette Pryor of her son, who is a Freshman at Spencer County High School.
Pryor said the new hybrid schedule is great for her son, who’s finally interacting with students and teachers again.
“He doesn’t do well online,” she said, “he’s not self-motivated, and even though I’m available to prompt him to keep going, it’s still better when it’s in person.”
Superintendent Chuck Adams understands why Governor Beshear recommended a longer wait after the holidays, but said with many students feeling isolated, they were ready to restart their system that worked well before the fall shutdown.
“Knowing that we could pull off this hybrid scenario on an A, B schedule, sanitize and do aggressive interventions on Wednesday and bring another group in on Thursday and Friday,” Adams explained, “we thought that was best for our community and by far the safest alternative for our children.”
Other parents are not ready yet.
Todd and Sonya Stansbury work in medical fields and have an elderly relative at home. Their 12 and 16-year-olds will stay in NTI for now.
“My daughter especially misses interactions with her friends,” Todd Stansbury said. “My son not as much, but I think he wants to go back too.”
For others, the decision to stay home is easy.
We asked parent Emily Gida if she struggled at all with the decision. She said she didn’t. Her son is in kindergarten and has simple virtual lessons for now.
“I’m a nurse, so I sent my son virtually because I felt like it was safer for him,” Gida said.
Parents said they are happy they have the option of a hybrid schedule or staying in NTI until they feel it’s safe to go back to a regular schedule.