Superintendent Speaks: EC Schools In-Person Classes Pushed Back To Sept. 28th, All Students To Begin Virtual & NTI On Sept. 8th
Superintendent Brian Alexander Releases Statement Concerning Governor’s Recommendation for School Reopening
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander has announced that the opening day for in-person classes at Edmonson County Schools will be pushed back to September 28th as recommended by the Governor; however, all students will begin the school year on September 8th, either by virtual instruction for students that chose virtual learning this year, or by NTI, for those that chose in-person instruction for the upcoming school year.
Supt. Alexander provided a statement to the Edmonson Voice earlier today describing the school's stance on the matter as well as an explanation behind this decision. The entire statement is published below:
The school community of Edmonson County has worked very hard over the last three months to create a reopening plan that fits the concerns and needs of our students, parents and staff. I want to commend all involved: our Board members, Central Office administration, Building Level leadership teams, and our Transportation/Maintenance teams have all worked together to craft a plan that fits Edmonson County. Countless hours have gone into working toward the best for our children. Also, the cooperation of students and their families with completing our online surveys has been instrumental at this time where communication for making decisions that best represent all the stakeholders of our school community. We as a school district are extremely proud of our plan.
As all of you now know, the Governor made a “strong recommendation” that schools not begin in-person classes until September 28th. This causes a curve in our road to reopen our schools in Edmonson County that requires additional planning, as well as additional time away from in-person instruction for students that chose the staggered schedule plan for the 20-21 school year.
Regardless of the direction of our response to the Governor’s recommendation, there will be citizens in our school district that will disagree with that response. While this was presented by our governor as a recommendation, the scrutiny our school district would be put under for not complying with the September 28th date would be considerable. The negativity generated from a possible spike in cases during the time period between September 8th and September 28th would put our school district and our county in a position with which I am not comfortable. A part of my job is to keep our school district in a positive light both locally and the state level and I take that responsibility seriously. I love Edmonson County too much to put it in a position to look bad.
It is my stance, and that of our Board members, that our students and families need normalcy and routine back in their lives. The personnel of the Edmonson County School district need and want that as well. The amount of work added to our teachers and various support staffs in order to plan and carry out instruction to our students is considerable and increases with each change as we alter our plan. In-person instruction is how teachers were trained and what teachers prefer, but we are in unprecedented times.
With all this said, it will be the plan of Edmonson County Schools to begin instruction on September 8, 2020, with students who chose to begin the school year on a virtual path using our virtual programs for learning. Students that have chosen the staggered schedule will begin the year with non-traditional instruction (NTI), with no in-person classes until September 28, 2020.
NTI classes will be vastly different than in the past, with students receiving instruction from teachers and completing work consisting of a combination of teacher choice assignments and virtual learning options. Our school administrators are confident we will be successful with this plan, and schools will be sending One Call messages, posting instructions on their respective social media sites, and school web pages concerning handing out Chromebooks and instructions for their use, as well as other important information in the coming days. Students and their families will have ample opportunities to be completely prepared for instruction well before September 8th.
In closing, I ask for your understanding, compassion and support for our schools, teachers and staff as we begin the 2020-2021 school year. I promise you that you will get my very best in these trying times, and I feel I can say that for all of our schools as well.
Feel free to contact me at any time. My door is open to you.
Brian Alexander, Superintendent