Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Patrick Waddell has officially announced that in-person school has been cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
Waddell said the announcement comes after a recommendation from Governor Andy Beshear in a phone call earlier today.
"Upon recommendation from the Governor, there will be no more in-person school for the remainder of the year," he said. "We will continue our NTI work as we've done for the last few weeks."
Waddell also said the last day for student NTI work will be Wednesday, May 13th.
"This will allow our school staff to collect, grade, and post the final grades for the school year by our original date for the last day, which was May 22nd. Hopefully all final grades will be posted by then, or sometime very close."
He said Governor Beshear recommended drive-by or virtual graduation ceremonies for any school that wished to have them at the normal, end-of-May time period; however, Waddell said ECHS will hold out to have an in-person ceremony later in the summer.
"Every administrator in our school system is in favor of having a traditional, in-person graduation ceremony, and that will require us to have it later in the year. It might be late June or July, or maybe even right before school starts next year, but that's what we're hoping for. The Governor didn't say we couldn't do that, he just said we can't do that under the guidelines that are currently being exercised right now."
He did add that any graduation planning at the present time would only be speculation.
Waddell said that all schools are still collecting NTI work, both electronically and in physical paper form.
"We have a 24-hour drop off near all school offices for anyone that needs to physically turn in work. We also want to add that work can be dropped off at any school, even if it's not the one your child attends. We just ask that you clearly label the work with the student's name and the school so we can make sure it ends up in the right place."
Supt. Waddell said that new NTI work will be going out soon and for anyone that cannot receive it electronically, they can call the school and arrangements will be made for work to be delivered or picked up.
"We are happy to work with anyone however we can to make this as smooth as possible."
He also said the ECHS Principal Brian Alexander will be sending out additional information for seniors later in the week.
This is Waddell's final year as Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools, and this is certainly not how he'd planned to retire.
"This isn't what any of us expected and it's been frustrating," he said. "When we first discussed closing schools, we all thought it would be for a couple weeks. Who'd have thought that over a month ago when I saw students get on the bus that it would be the last for the school year. But this has affected all of us and I think everyone understands. At least now, with guidance from the President and from state levels, we have a better understanding of how to achieve some sort of normalcy, and hopefully soon. I know some like school being closed, others don't, but things are much different now and we all have to continue working together."