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Parents, students hold rally in Madison County to push for in-person classes

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 11:43 AM EDT
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MADISON CO., Ky. (WKYT) - The school year is getting closer and school districts are trying to figure out how to start school safely.

However, updates with the coronavirus and new guidance from Frankfort are forcing some districts to rethink their plans.

In Madison County, parents and students gathered Tuesday morning to make their voices heard.

Earlier this year, the Madison County School Board sent out a survey to parents asking what they’d prefer: virtual classes, or in-person classes when the school year started back up.

30% of those respondents said they would rather see classes go fully virtual, while 70% said that they wanted in-person classes to return.

“I could probably teach myself just as well as home as I would learning in schools, but the most important thing for me in going to school is the social aspects,” said Rachel Rieck.

Rieck is an incoming senior who says for her virtual learning just doesn’t fulfill the need.

“It feels a lot more like busywork,” Rieck said. “I think it’s important to learn in an environment around people so you can ask questions.”

After going fully virtual last year, and staying away from her classmates, Rieck said that she isn’t ready to do that again this year, saying that in her opinion the social development schools provide is just as important as what’s in the books.

“I think it’s important to be around people, especially for younger kids,” Rieck said. “That’s when their social skills are developing, from elementary school through high school your social skills are really developing and if you don’t have contact with people, especially people your own age, you don’t really have as well social skills getting older.”

And heading into her senior year there are certain things she just doesn't want to miss out on.

“I didn’t have a junior prom,” Rieck said. “I want to be able to have a senior prom and a normal homecoming, just like normal experiences that I didn’t think, I really didn’t think would be that important to me my freshman, sophomore, junior year that now I’m faced with not having them at all I feel like I wouldn’t have a complete high school without having some of those experiences.”

The Madison County Board of Education will hear recommendations from Superintendent Gilliam at a meeting Thursday evening regarding a plan for moving forward. They say they will release a detailed update following the meeting.

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