Virtual Instruction Will Be Offered To All Students, All Grades
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County School Board has announced that September 8, 2020 will be the first official day of the 2020-21 school year, in a statement from Superintendent Brian Alexander. The entire calendar will not be set and approved until the next board meeting, which is scheduled for July 13th; however, Mr. Alexander said he wanted to announce the first official day back to help parents and guardians prepare for the new year.
"We want to thank those that have participated in our parent and staff surveys," Mr. Alexander said. "The Board members and I have taken the input of both parents and staff into account in making a start date decision. The comfort, health and safety of the students of Edmonson County, which allows for a positive educational experience, is always our primary concern. A great deal of consideration for students wearing masks on buses and the heat students would be subjected to in early August was a major consideration in our choice to go with a September 8th start date."
The statement also said type of school schedule for the 20-21 school year has not yet been finalized at this time. The school district could opt for a traditional 5-day schedule or a staggered schedule for students. A staggered schedule would be a combination of in-person and distance learning for students in an effort to allow social distancing so that masks may be removed.
"An important point to be made is that if we stay with a traditional 5 day schedule, masks will be mandated 100% of the time, as social distancing of 6 feet cannot be accomplished," said Mr. Alexander. "If a staggered schedule is chosen, students will be allowed to remove masks throughout the day."
According to Edmonson County Schools, they are diligently preparing buildings and buses so that all guidelines set forth are met with the "Guidance on Safety Expectations and Best Practices for Kentucky Schools (K-12)" document released June 24, 2020. You can view this document at:
"We fully understand that families may still be uncomfortable with in-person learning. With this in mind, Edmonson County Schools will also be offering virtual learning opportunities for students K-12 this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of Edmonson County's schools are adopting virtual policies in response to health concerns caused by this pandemic. The school district has researched several software programs and are prepared to offer state-of-the-art virtual learning experiences to students and families that have health conditions or concerns that make in-person learning uncomfortable for them during the 20-21 school year. It is important to point out a distinct difference between home-school and virtual learning settings. As a home-school student, parents must create their own curriculum. As a virtual student enrolled in the Edmonson County School District for the 20-21 school year, we will make available this curriculum to families and students that is specifically designed for learning outside the traditional. This will be much different than the NTI coursework used to finish the 19-20 school year. In addition to the software opportunities, technology devices such as chromebooks will be available to students for use as part of our virtual learning programs."
Mr. Alexander concluded his statement by stating:
"No plan is perfect and no plan will please everyone and meet everyone's needs to a full extent. As stated earlier, the comfort, health and safety of the students of Edmonson County, which allows for a positive educational experience, is always our primary concern. We want the best possible educational experience for all the students of Edmonson County for the 2020-2021 school year and we thank you for your input and ask you for your support during these unprecedented times."