FCPS targeting February 1 to begin phased restart of in-person classes

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 11:46 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - School leaders in Lexington have once again pushed back a possible return to in-person learning. Students will be learning online for the rest of the month.

Fayette County Public Schools officials hope to get students back into the classroom as soon as possible, but, of course, that all depends on the data.

Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm sent an email to parents Tuesday saying 117 students and 64 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 this year.

She says if cases go down, the district will start in-person classes the first week of February. She explained the district will take a phased-in approach, starting with kindergarten through second grade and adding more grade levels in the following weeks.

Teachers hope students can return as soon as possible.

“I think that teachers as a whole, obviously, everybody wants to go back to school,” said Jessica Hiler, president of the Fayette County Education Association. “There’s not a teacher that doesn’t want to be with kids, but we want to do it when it’s safe to back. I think that’s the challenge.”

Next week, school buses will hit the road and start practicing their routes for next month.

Greg Prince, who has two children in elementary school, is not impressed. He’s skeptical of how the district is making decisions based on COVID-19 numbers.

“They give us no indication of how they’re going to count numbers,” Prince said. “So, I think most people have given up.”

Prince joins more than 3,000 others apart of a Facebook group aimed at getting kids back in school. Prince is worried his children will keep falling behind if they keep learning online.

“I’m terrified of what’s going to happen,” Prince said. “I can guarantee you that they’re not getting the same education.”

In the meantime, the district will continue distributing free meals to families in need. It’s also providing mental health services.

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