OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Owensboro Public Schools unveiled its tentative plans for the upcoming semester on Thursday.
School officials say they would like to see its students back in the classroom for at least four or five days per week next semester.
“There is no mistake that in-person learning is the best learning - all research would indicate that," OPS Superintendent Dr. Matthew Constant said. “That’s why everybody wants to push for the five-day learning models. We have some examples that we’re talking to right now, about how if they’re making it work.”
This plan of action will depend on a variety of factors, such as the grouping of students, positive COVID-19 cases, quarantine numbers, the incidence rate map, as well as social distancing limitations.
The school district says it’s looking into the following learning plans for next semester:
- A/B model as experienced in 1st Semester Learning
- Modified A/B model that increases in-person learning by adding either another A or B day to each week.
- 100% distance learning model (NTI for the A/B model)
“I’m just afraid he’s not getting the amount of academic content he needs as a high school freshman," Ashley Johnson, an OPS parent said. “But if I step back and I look at the numbers at what we’re seeing in our children, I think we’re doing more of a disservice keeping our children out of school, or doing things the way that we’re doing them right now.”
For parents that want their children to continue learning virtually, the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) will still be an option.
“Each of our schools are watching kids that have special needs, or that are not responding to whatever method we are using right, and so we can bring those kids in even four days a week on a limited basis,” Dr. Constant said.
Clay Horton, the director of the Green River District Health Department, says he supports Owensboro Public Schools and believes the school district has done a good job with handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to OPS Public Information Officer Jared Revlett, the school district will remain on the A/B schedule for the remainder of the fall semester. The semester is officially slated to end on January 13, 2021.
Revlett says the Virtual Learning Academy will also extend throughout the rest of the semester. He also states the 100% distance learning option (NTI for the A/B model) could be implemented based on trending health and safety data.
Daviess County is currently listed as a “red zone” on the COVID-19 metrics map for Kentucky.
As for Owensboro Catholic Schools, officials gave us this statement:
“At this time we do not anticipate needing to make any changes to what we are currently doing in our schools. We will continue to be vigilant and rigorous with cleaning, screening, masking and distancing.”