DAVIESS CO., Ky. (WFIE) - In a meeting that lasted more than two and a half hours on Thursday evening, the Daviess County Public Schools board discussed school reopening plans for the 2020-21 academic year.
A 17-member DCPS reopening task force has been working on solutions. The team is made up of four teachers, two support staff, two principals, one person from the parent/community sector, one pediatrician, one school health coordinator, four district leaders, the superintendent and one board member.
The board’s original plans have since changed because of the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in the area.
Surveys previously went out to parents and staff. More than 1,300 staff and 4,400 parents responded with 70% of students represented.
Approximately 20% of parents indicated interest in the OPS Virtual Academy for their children, while 80% of parents (9,600 students) selected interest for in-person learning.
The plans, as presented Thursday, would allow the district to use any three options to navigate safely through the school year.
The model could be visualized as a traffic signal. The “green” area represents in-person instruction five days a week, but only if virus conditions improve. “Red” means that students and staff would move to all non-traditional (online) instruction, or NTI. The “yellow” section is where school officials plan to start on August 26. This allows for an “A/B” schedule.
It is suggested that roughly 40% of students would attend in-person learning on Monday and Tuesday. Another 40% would go on Thursday and Friday.
This would cut the total of 9,600 students down to 4,800 at once. On the days students are not learning in classrooms, they should expect to be engaging in reading and writing style assignments.
Wednesday would be used as a deep cleaning day and students would also participate in online learning.
District leaders say this allows for more social distancing in classrooms. Masks will be required when social distancing is not possible. Hand sanitizer stations will be set up in classrooms and common areas.
“Without question, we know that we need to get in front of our students,” Superintendent Matt Robbins said. “We want that. We want to embrace that. It’s the right thing for us to do. We just need to be able to do it safely and in a safe manner.”
The remaining 20% of students, according to the survey, are expected to use the virtual academy.
Other topics, including food services and bus transportation, were presented.
County school leaders have a specially called board meeting scheduled for Monday. The district will allow for public input ahead of their vote on the proposed plan.
You can watch the full meeting in the video below: