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FCPS announces schedule, makes plans for graduated return to in-person learning

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 8:39 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - By mid-March, Fayette County Public Schools plan to have 95% of its students back in seats. The district released a grade-by-grade schedule Tuesday night.

District officials say with kindergarten through second grade back in school, it’s been so far so good.

“When you’re at a school with kindergarten, first second graders, even with them wearing masks, you can see that smile through the mask,” Chief of High Schools James McMillin said.

The remaining grades will join them inside of the buildings through a phased approach. Students enrolled in special programs, like STEAM Academy and the Learning Center will have to wait.

“We will not be satisfied until 100% of our kids are back in their buildings. Getting that last 5% is going to be the hurdle and we’re working diligently to make that happen,” Chief Operating Officer Myron Thompson said.

Here is the following schedule for their graduated return:

The week of March 1-5, 2021

  • Students in grades K, 1 and 2 will continue with face-to-face instruction.

Beginning March 3, 2021

  • Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 will return to in-person learning.

Beginning March 8, 2021

  • Students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will continue with face-to-face instruction.
  • Students in grades 6, 9 and 12 at the following schools will return to in-person learning:
    • Middle Schools: Beaumont, Bryan Station, Crawford, Edythe J. Hayes, Jessie Clark, Leestown, LTMS, Morton, SCAPA, Southern, Tates Creek, Winburn
    • High Schools: Bryan Station, Frederick Douglass, Henry Clay, Lafayette, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Tates Creek
  • At this time, students who attend Eastside Technical, Locust Trace AgriScience, and Southside Technical centers will report to their home high schools for the entire day.

Beginning March 15, 2021

  • Preschool students will return to in-person learning.
  • Students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 12 will continue with face-to-face instruction.
  • Students in grades 7, 8, 10, and 11 at the following schools will return to in-person learning:
    • Middle Schools: Beaumont, Bryan Station, Crawford, Edythe J. Hayes, Jessie Clark, Leestown, LTMS, Morton, SCAPA, Southern, Tates Creek, Winburn
    • High Schools: Bryan Station, Frederick Douglass, Henry Clay, Lafayette, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Tates Creek
  • At this time, students who attend Eastside Technical, Locust Trace AgriScience, and Southside Technical centers will report to their home high schools for the entire day.

District officials say they are continuing to face challenges with having enough school bus drivers to serve the students enrolled in special programs.

“Our routing department has to come in and determine who needs service where and try to cobble that together with the resources that we have to pickup. So if there’s a significant number of families that are self transporting throughout the community, then maybe we can take certain communities offline and use those resources somewhere else,” Thompson said.

For those students who will be loading up their backpack in the weeks to come, leaders want them to be prepared for a different set up.

“We have added UV lighting in the duct work of buildings that was needed, we have added air purifiers in classrooms,” FCPS Spokesperson Lisa Deffendall said.

Masks will be strictly enforced and floor decals will encourage social distancing.

“Our schools were not designed to handle global pandemics. They were designed to get as many people in as small of a footprint as possible,” Thompson said.

McMillin said some schools will be harder to rearrange than others.

“What it looks like at Frederick Douglass, our newest high school, it does look a little different at Henry Clay,” McMillin said.

McMillin says he’s reached out to local businesses and churches to explore other options for transportation. He says the district is open to exploring other pathways to get students back on their bus routes.

They say these programs will continue to learn virtually: Carter G. Woodson Academy, Family Care Center, Martin Luther King Academy, Opportunity Middle College, STEAM Academy, Success Academy, The Learning Center, The Stables.

Once there is enough staff for buses, those schools can also return to in-person learning, so long as we keep seeing these positive COVID-19 trends.

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