Kentucky school district considering bringing back remote learning
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - One central Kentucky school district is considering bringing back remote learning.
Bourbon County Schools says it can’t compete with Fayette County’s new teacher salaries. Last month, the district approved a budget to start new teacher salaries above $50,000—the highest in the state.
Bourbon County High School Principal Morgan Adkins says he wants to clear up misconceptions parents may have, particularly that this won’t look like the COVID virtual learning they are used to.
“Everybody’s used to the idea that we go to school five days a week. But why does it have to be that way? If we can still provide academics in a rigorous manner with four days in person, one day remote, and it helps improve the lives of teachers, it helps incentivize teachers to come. It brings students back into the district. Why wouldn’t we at least try it?” said Adkins.
Adkins has proposed one remote learning day a week, suggesting it be every Wednesday. The school building would still be open that day for students who want to work there or need one-on-one instruction. Every student will still receive breakfast and lunch that day, as well. But with teacher shortages only worsening, he says they need to explore every option right now.
“It’s the new salary schedule that Fayette County just released. We’re comparable to other counties, but ultimately, a teacher who puts in 30 years of service in Bourbon County at a rank 2 only makes two grand more than someone who’s a first-year teacher in Fayette County. And that’s tough to deal with,” said Adkins.
Adkins says more and more teachers are retiring, and fewer are coming into the industry. And now, teachers in any neighboring district are much more likely to work in Fayette County if given the option.
“And this would be my plea: we need the Kentucky Department of Education, and we need lawmakers to really analyze the state of education. And try to figure out solutions instead of leaving it up to districts like us to do something radical, knowing that if we don’t do something, where are we going to be in five years?” said Adkins.
Adkins also says research shows a remote learning day could have positive effects on students’ and teachers’ mental health.
He says that if this plan didn’t seem to be working, they would go back to a traditional week.
The school does want to hear from parents, incoming students, and staff.
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