KENTUCKY (WFIE) - The Dawson Springs school board has decided to start the school year off virtually due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky.
It was approved at their meeting Monday night.
“Well I sure hope it’s not virtual the rest of the year, but again there’s going to be a lot of factors that come into play that will determine that,” said Leonard Whalen, Superintendent of Dawson Springs.
The main factor is a drastic decrease in COVID-19 cases in Kentucky.
Superintendent Whalen says it’s the only way to ensure the safety of the small community.
“We’ve got a very small student population, which means we’ve got a fairly small staff population. We have a very small substitute pool, and even in a quarantine situation, it wouldn’t take very long for us to have a few staff members quarantine, and we wouldn’t be able to have enough adults to conduct school,” Whalen said.
Superintendent Whalen says for the most part there’s been positive feedback, and one parent says she understands the decision.
“I’m really excited for the kids to be able to get back to school, and I really wish they could go back to in school learning, but I completely understand that their health and safety is whats best, and virtual is the best option,” Lori Back, a parent of three students at Dawson Springs school system said.
Students can expect to see their teachers from a recording and will be able to set up one on one’s with teachers if extra help is needed.
“Our teachers are going to be taping themselves doing specific lessons for kids and interacting with them online via number, whether it be email or live back and forth via camera etc,” Whalen said.
The superintendent also says WiFi spots will be available for students who need them starting September 12.
“I’m very hopeful that this school year will be better than it was towards the end of the school year last year. I know there’s a lot more planning and thinking going into this and I completely trust the school system with the decisions they make,” Back said.
The superintendent also says the family resource director will be reaching out to families with a list of day-care options available if child care is an issue.
The Muhlenberg County Board of Education, based on the recommendation of Superintendent Robby Davies, also voted to start the upcoming school year completely virtual.
District officials say they plan to reassess the decision before their next board meeting on September 17, with the goal to have an in-person option starting on Monday, September 21.
The district’s full reopening plan is explained in Monday’s special called board meeting in the video below.