Some JCPS students could return to school March 17

Updated: Feb. 25, 2021 at 3:34 PM EST
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Pollio calls the switch to deeper learning one of the most important movements the district has...
Pollio calls the switch to deeper learning one of the most important movements the district has had.(Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said Thursday that schools across the district are ready to get back into the classroom.

Ahead of Thursday night’s Board of Education vote, he laid out a plan that included students returning by mid-March.

Some key takeaways of Pollio’s plan:

+ K-2nd grade students would return March 17

+ 3rd-5th grade students would return March 18

+ Those in the early childhood programs would return March 22

+ High school and middle school students would operate on a hybrid schedule with students in class two days a week, NTI two days a week and Wednesdays would be virtual learning days for all students

+ Options would be available for students who want to continue virtual learning five days a week

The school board is scheduled to vote on Pollio’s proposal at 6 p.m.

“After months of planning and preparing, our schools are ready to re-open,” Pollio said Thursday. “We’ll be able to safely offer in-person learning.”

Regarding mitigating the risks of spreading the coronavirus in schools, Pollio said the district is supplied with PPE, including millions of facemasks and more than 1,500 digital thermometers. The plan also includes a cleaning and disinfecting program, screening and testing for staff and students and a contact tracing and quarantine plan.

“There are several thousand boxes of PPE your children and our staff need,” Pollio said. “No school will go without the essential protective resources required to safely open schools.”

Students also will socially distance on buses.

Pollio said his proposal is the result of months of research, planning and analysis.

“Obviously, since Oct. 1, we’ve had 11 board meetings talking about this specific plan,” he said. “Eleven of them. And I know many of you have probably worked your way through of all of those with us. And right or wrong, my plan hasn’t changed much in the past four or five of those meetings.”

The superintendent cited a rock legend when describing all that the district has had to do in planning its return.

“If I were going to quote the late, great Freddie Mercury, I would say this has definitely been no bed of roses, and no pleasure cruise,” he said. “But we are all trying to do what’s best for our kids.”

Pollio said the recent push to get teachers vaccinated has not been easy.

“We were working with Metro Health,” he said. “We supply the names, but it was two large organizations that are trying to provide vaccinations for nearly 13,000 people two times, over about a five- or six-week period.”

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WAVE 3 News Now. Watch Anytime. Anywhere.(WAVE 3 News)

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