School officials hoping for more remote learning flexibility as COVID-19 surges
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been a challenging past few school years for districts across Kentucky.
“We’re learning as we go,” Franklin County Schools Superintendent Mark Kopp said.
As cases surge to record levels, schools are feeling the strain as teachers and students are getting sick.
“It’s as bad as it’s been. It’s not great timing obviously. We’re looking for any possible remedy and assistance,” Kopp said.
In Franklin County, they’ve used five of the 10 NTI days lawmakers approved for districts during a special session in September. Other districts are almost out.
“It’s critically important that we have a little bit of flexibility to maintain. We all want our kids to be in school. We want our staff to be in school,” Kopp said.
Attendance for students is around 89% so far this week. The district is hovering around 56% for substitute coverage, meaning Superintendent Kopp may have to use up some of the remaining five days.
“We’re not going to use these days in a fully hearty manor. We’re only going to use them when we truly need them, and when we get to 56% coverage of classrooms, we truly need to look at using some of this to provide us some flexibility,” Kopp said.
There is a sign of relief. The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that gives districts up to 10 NTI days per school. So these could be used at the school, grade, or even classroom level for this school year. It now heads to the house.
“Objectively we’re getting into a situation where it’s going to become a bit of a critical situation. Anything we’re going to be extremely appreciative of,” Kopp said.
Franklin County does have universal masking in place. The district also has testing available, including the test-to-stay program.
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