Oldham, Hardin Co. schools return to 5 day in-person instruction

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - School districts in Oldham and Hardin counties are among the first in Kentucky to resume full-time instruction for students who selected in-person learning.

While Oldham County School District elementary students have been in-person five days a week since the beginning of the school year, its middle and high school students returned to full-time, in-person instruction on Monday. Those students were previously on a hybrid learning model.

“With all of our teachers being vaccinated that want to be vaccinated, we felt like the time was right, and knowing that there was a need to get our kids back in the classroom as much as we possibly could,” Oldham County Superintendent Greg Schultz said.

Oldham County schools have around 75 percent of its students learning in-person, and the remaining have chosen to continue with virtual learning five days a week.

Schultz told WAVE 3 News some students have fallen behind during periods of NTI, so the district is using the full-time, in-person instruction and adding summer programs to catch them up.

“I would think that anybody who is not just a little bit behind from where they were would be out of the norm, but the nice thing about this is everybody is in the same boat,” Schultz said. “We’re trying to view this as when we’re handed some lemons, we’re going to make lemonade. We’re going to offer summer learning and also learning into the fall with ESS-extended services, so that over the next few years, our students have the opportunity to be exactly where they should be.”

Down the road in Hardin County, high schoolers in the district were the last group to return to five-day-a-week, in-person instruction; the district phased the students in by grade level.

“The students this morning coming in off the bus were incredibly excited, and some of them said, ‘This is the first time I’ve been in school on a Monday in over a year,’” Hardin County Schools Superintendent Teresa Morgan said.

Morgan told WAVE 3 News several students who previously selected the full-time virtual option switched to full-time, in-person once the district shifted to holding classes five days a week.

“I think that’s what they were waiting for as we announce some of our events, especially for seniors,” Morgan said. “They, too, are returning so they can have the opportunity to have that full senior experience.”

Like Oldham County Schools, students in Hardin County have fallen behind, mainly in math, thanks to the pandemic.

“I believe that’s just because we’ve missed that opportunity to do the concrete with the manipulatives, however, many of our teachers sent home manipulatives for the students to use online,” Morgan said. “However, just that five days a week of instruction, having that teacher there saying you’re not quite grasping that concept and reteaching immediately, it’s much easier to do that in-person.”

Both Hardin and Oldham County schools will host summer school and after-school learning programs to help students catch up.

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