I hope everyone enjoyed their well deserved time off! I don’t need to remind you all how challenging the school year has been, and with students set to return to our buildings on Tuesday, January 19, I want to use this time and space to ensure we are all on the same page as we prepare to reopen our classrooms.
As you know, Governor Beshear issued his most recent executive order relative to schools on December 18. The order states that as long as a county is in the “red” according to the state incident rate, schools can continue to be open to in-person learning in a hybrid format as long as the requirements in the KDE reopening guidelines are followed. I realize that the hybrid model isn’t ideal and presents challenges; I also know that this is the only chance we have to get our students who are struggling, and in some cases missing the help they desperately need, to keep from falling further behind.
Over the break, we reviewed and updated our BCPS Healthy at School guidelines that are available on our COVID-19 Information webpage to ensure they are aligned with the KDE guidance. I would encourage each of you to read through those.
As I have shared with you before, we have also updated our COVID-19 Data Dashboard to provide real-time information on the status of positive cases and quarantines in our district. This information is sortable by school and is updated as protocol submissions are processed by our District Health staff. I can’t say enough about how hard our District Health Team is working to ensure that we have up to the minute information.
Any recommendation and/or decision to transition to remote learning (and hopefully this will not be the case) will be based on a variety of factors, including staff availability, the community incident rate, and input from the Bullitt County Health Department. If needed, we can put independent classrooms, schools, or feeder patterns back into remote learning if the data suggests it is warranted. We all should remain prepared for intermittent closures.
It is important to note that when we begin our hybrid schedule on January 19, those staff members who are assigned to Cloud Academy will still have the option to telework. This will be the case as long as Bullitt County remains in the “red” on the state incident map. Additionally, on virtual learning Wednesdays, all staff members who can do so will be permitted to telework under the same provisions that were established during the fall semester.
At the Board Meeting on January 4, the Board amended the calendar for the 3rd nine weeks to provide consistency to the hybrid schedule. Bullitt Days initially scheduled for Mondays have been rescheduled to Wednesdays. You can see the updated calendar below:
If it becomes necessary to extend the hybrid model in the 4th nine weeks, we will ask the board to again move any Bullitt Days we can to Wednesdays in an effort to provide as much consistency as possible.
I know how much stress and anxiety you are feeling. The safety precautions and mitigation strategies that are in place will work if we 100% commit to them; that has been proven across our state and nation. Remember to social distance, wear your mask, and stay home if you feel sick. We can get through this -- together!
Dr. Jesse Bacon, Superintendent