Another Kentucky school district shuts down, with no remote learning, due to COVID-19

·3 min read

Officials in another Kentucky school district have announced that they are shutting down for the rest of the week due to COVID with no remote learning.

‘Due to an increase in Covid cases in our schools and additional class quarantines, school will be canceled through August 27, 2021. These will not be NTI days but will be made up later in the year,” Leslie County Schools officials said in a Sunday Facebook post.

Lee, Magoffin, Knott and Jenkins Independent school districts are among those that have shut down for multiple days due to COVID. Some school districts have announced they will have no virtual learning.

The General Assembly’s 2021 House Bill 208 did not extend unlimited non-traditional instruction or learning from home days for the 2021-22 school year. Districts only have 10 NTI days under state law.

As a new surge of COVID-19 cases raged in Kentucky,Estill County Superintendent Jeff Saylor on Friday said state lawmakers should allow for more remote learning.

Saylor in a statement encouraged families to contact legislators about roadblocks to remote or virtual learning.

“Many continue wondering why we have not gone to remote instruction,” said Saylor.

Saylor said Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass confirmed to him that emergency measures that allowed districts multiple options to deliver instruction expired at the end of last year.

“We no longer have unlimited NTI Emergency Days, which means we cannot have all students learning remotely from home,” Saylor said. “By our current regulations, the only students that can learn remotely from home are students who have been placed in quarantine. “

School districts in Kentucky this year have to be in-person a minimum of 170 days, so any day missed will have to be made up just like a snow day.

Saylor said he will be closely monitoring case numbers this week, and if he continues to see an increase in the number of student and staff cases, he will consider school cancellations to curb the spread of the virus. “As always, safety will be our first consideration and we will figure out how to make-up school days in the future,” Saylor said.

He urged parents and community members to contact state legislators and ask them to give school districts the tools they need to deliver instruction safely.

“No one wants remote instruction for long periods of time because we know that is not what is best for our children, but to take away all measures to address this difficult time is not the answer either, “he said.

Fayette County Public Schools board chairman Tyler Murphy said in a recent Facebook post that the enrollment window for the Virtual Learning Academy has closed and there are limited spaces due to staffing, but there are still some individual considerations being made for students who may be medically fragile due to the rapid change in COVID19 conditions as a result of the Delta variant.

Murphy said families should contact their schools to discuss their unique situation and options.

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