LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - If Jefferson County Public Schools returns to school in-person before the school year ends, dropping off children at a bus stop will look very different from what it did a year ago.
During Tuesday’s JCPS Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said schools could start back in-person as early as mid-March, pending teacher vaccinates and a school board approval. A definitive timeline is still unknown.
Renee Murphy, the chief communications officer and community relations officer at JCPS, said her kids are eager to get back into the classroom because they miss being in school.
“I look forward to the day that they can get back to school,” she said. “I know when we go back to school, we’ll still have masks on. All the safety protocols will be in place because our students will not be vaccinated. So, it’s still going to look a little bit different, but there’s nothing we want more than to have in-person instruction and we’re working very hard to make that possible.”
The process of getting students to and from school on the bus will be a little different, too.
JCPS reports that 60% of parents said they wanted their kids to return to in-person classes when possible, but not all of them would need to take district buses.
“Of that 60-percent I don’t know the total number that would be riding the bus,” Murphy said. “Parents are still making those decisions right now.”
Students will have to wear masks on the bus and hand sanitizer will be provided to them. When they get on the bus, they will start seating from the back to the front of the bus. The state also recommends districts assign seating to help with contact tracing if a child were to get sick.
The bus windows will be opened if the weather allows. The bus will also be cleaned between routes.
As far as social distancing on the bus goes, Murphy said it depends on the bus.
“For some of the routes that may be possible. For other routes that may be more populated it could be a little more difficult to have that six feet of distance. But our goal is to make sure when we can have social distancing that we do have social distancing, all other protocols will be followed,” she said.
Murphy said these protocols could be put into action as soon as mid-March, as JCPS teachers will start getting vaccinated on Friday.
“I think people can see how the speed in which it’s moving, and they can really see the difference and the change that’s upon us,” Murphy said.
The school board will decide whether students may return in-person.
Parents will still be able to decide whether their child should return to in-person learning or move forward with virtual learning.
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