Madison Co. Education Association calls for schools to start year with online classes

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 11:43 AM EDT
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MADISON CO. Ky. (WKYT) - Madison County Schools are scheduled to return to in-person classes starting August 26.

The district offers alternative options, but the Madison County Education Association is suggesting all schools start virtually.

Susan Cintra, the president of the association, asked the school board to consider reopening in-person classes after six weeks of online learning.

Cintra says some teachers feel limited to resigning, retiring or returning because they don’t feel safe.

Cintra told the school board Tuesday that with the county’s case count and EKU students returning to campus, starting virtual best. She said more than half of the district’s teachers are considered high risk or live with someone who is.

Cintra told the board teachers expect some students to come to school without masks, take them off or cough without the covering.

She said the high school where she teaches has hallways, stairwells and classrooms marked off for social distancing, preventing any social interaction with friends.

She thinks teachers need more time to plan how to create a learning environment with the limitations, but wants staff members to be prepared for all possibilities.

“What I fear will happen is we’ll call it virtual before school starts, pretty close to that time, and we aren’t prepared to do that because we’re focusing on what this in person is going to look like, and when you talk about going online, I’ve been paper-less in my classroom for about seven years now and it’s a different mind shift,” Cintra said.

Some Madison County teachers asked to share their concerns with WKYT but asked for their names not be shared in fear of losing their jobs.

One elementary teacher wrote;

“I feel like my students, my fellow teachers and myself are being used as possible guinea pigs: If we survive Covid, great; if we don’t, well, we can become the ones from which best practices were learned.”

Another teacher tells us;

“We’re having a hard time figuring out where to put all of our students. Because we have to remain socially distanced, we don’t have enough spaces in the classrooms to fit our class load.”

Cintra told us she does think there’s a possibility the school board will decide to go virtual.

The district has four different levels of attendance: Currently, schools will start in the yellow phase, which will be in-person classes all 5 days. The orange phase reduces capacity to 50 percent and red is all virtual.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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