JCPS presentation of final back-to-school plan pushed back

JCPS presentation of final back-to-school plan pushed back

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Jefferson County Public Schools Board of Education will not hear the district’s final back-to-school plan during Tuesday night’s board meeting. Instead, members will discuss more details included in its reopening plan, according to a presentation shared ahead of Tuesday’s board meeting.

The delay comes after a new Jefferson County Teachers Association survey found 58% of educators who participated want to finish the school year virtually, even after they’ve been fully vaccinated.

“A teacher who goes into a classroom and sits with the same 25 kids for seven hours in a day, in a classroom, in an old building, that’s a big risk that not many other professions have to take,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said.

In addition, the survey said two-thirds of teachers noted they needed more details from JCPS before being able to make an informed decision on whether to return to class.

Some JCPS educators are concerned about the lack of guidelines in the district’s current back-to-school plan, including how to enforce social distancing and mask-wearing and how teachers should hold students accountable if they don’t follow the rules.

JCPS’s current plan would allow elementary students to return to class five days a week, while middle and high school students would move to a hybrid learning model.

After nearly a year of NTI, some JCPS parents told WAVE 3 News it’s time for students to return to class, citing the many other businesses that have already re-opened.

“We went to a trampoline park and it was packed,” Shannon Richards, a JCPS parent, said. “We’ve gone on vacations, and some people might not want to do that, but the fact is that everything is open and school is not.”

Richard has watched her first grade son and fourth grade daughter become distracted and bored during NTI coursework. She said her children constantly ask her when they can go back to school.

“They want to see their teachers and the kids they’ve worked with all year online; they want to meet them,” Richards said. “They understand it will be different with the mask and everything, but they do fine going to the store and other places with the mask, so I don’t see that being a problem at all. They’re pretty used to that.”

However, the Jefferson County Board of Education will have the final say in whether students will be allowed to return to school.

“This is a difficult decision that I’ve said often is unfortunate it’s in the hands of boards of education or superintendents who have to wrestle with tough decisions, and we’re not medical experts,” Pollio said.

It is unclear when the board will hear the district’s final back-to-school plan and vote.

To watch Tuesday night’s board meeting, click here.

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