UNION CO., Ky. (WFIE) - Union County Public Schools will be returning to school on Monday.
“I’ve been ready for them to go back," Union County Public Schools parent Brittany Rutter said. “They need the structure, they need their friends."
“We’re so excited to get our kids back in school," Malinda Beauchamp, public relations coordinator for Union County Public Schools said. “It’s been since March since we’ve had them in the school building."
District officials say they’re ready to welcome back 70% of the student population, with the other 30% opting for the virtual option. However, administrators say making sure they’re ready to operate safely has been a big undertaking.
“Flexibility is the key word and you realize just how challenging that is whenever you’re faced with something of this magnitude," Beauchamp said.
District officials say infrared temperature checks will take place at the door, classrooms have been set up for social distancing and as part of a state requirement - masks must be worn at all times, except when eating or drinking. For one mother, that was the deciding factor that she wouldn’t be sending her child to school.
“I don’t think it’s okay for my preschooler to be wearing a mask all day," parent Breanna Benham said. “She’s only four years old. There’s no way she’s going to keep it on, so we decided to wait - wait until she’s at least in the first grade before we send her back."
School leaders say they recognize that county case numbers continue to rise and they say they’re planning to work closely with the health department.
“We also will continue to look to our health department for guidance about whether we should have in-person instruction or not," Beauchamp said. “The last guidance we’ve had from our health department is that we should move forward with in-person instruction."
During the first week of school, district officials only 17.5% of students will come in at a time on designated days. They’re hoping this will allow students to get familiar with the new procedures.