Warren County Public Schools continuing hybrid schedule through December 18
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -Superintendent Rob Clayton announced on Wednesday that the district will be continuing with its hybrid schedule through December 18.
Earlier this week Governor Andy Beshear and his administration finally released a metric for local school boards to reference in making determinations about in-person classes. We have reviewed this metric which currently designates our entire community as a RED county, meaning a daily rate of 25 individuals per 100,000 has a confirmed case of COVID-19. It is the Governor’s position that any school district within a county designated as RED should remain closed to all in-person learning until the county reaches YELLOW status (less than 10 confirmed daily cases per 100,000). Despite Warren County’s RED status, there is no recommendation for any other public or private entity to be closed in our community outside of our schools. We have been advised that the purpose behind this new metric and the school closure recommendation is to prevent community spread of the COVID-19 virus. We recognize that there is no way for us to prevent the spread; however, we remain confident that the steps we have taken will allow us to do our part to minimize community spread of the virus. As a district, we must continue to weigh the impact of the virus in our community versus the benefits of offering in-person instruction to all students, especially our most vulnerable population.
Thus far, we have no information to suggest any student-to-student spread of the virus has occurred within any of our schools. (However, it is possible to expect that at some point we could have information suggesting transmission of the virus despite all of our implemented safety measures, and as a district, we will continue to closely monitor for this situation.) In addition, no quarantined student has tested positive for the virus as a result of being in school or attending a school activity. With approximately 18,000 students and 2,500+ employees across the district, we have had 42 confirmed cases of the virus since the start of school - 4 active staff, 20 active in-person students, 6 active virtual academy students. In total, 12 have recovered. (Statistics are as of September 16, 2020). Interestingly, our percentage of active cases for in-person students (0.16%) versus virtual students (0.13%) is almost identical. These numbers are updated daily and available on our WCPS COVID Dashboard, which you can access at this link. Please know that we are not including the number of quarantined students in our Dashboard because this information changes frequently and serves no specific purpose; especially considering that the vast majority of our quarantined individuals are not linked to any of our schools or school activities. However, we will report this information to the State as required by the Governor. Our Department of Pupil Personnel will continue to maintain all records and information associated with each quarantine to ensure no student or staff member returns to school prior to the end of the designated quarantine period. We will continue to notify families of close contacts with quarantine instructions and encourage families to reach out with specific questions.
Based upon conversations with our Board members, staff, school leaders, and local health officials, WCPS will continue our current hybrid schedule through December 18, 2020. Operating a hybrid schedule enables us to sustain social distancing in our classrooms, which not only minimizes the spread of the virus but limits the number of students being quarantined due to potential exposure. Utilizing Fridays for virtual instruction has become invaluable to our staff due to the increased workload of providing both in-person and virtual instruction. Also, this allows us to conduct deep cleaning in each of our facilities. Moving forward, we plan to utilize Fridays for additional teacher collaboration, conduct small group instruction with select students, and appropriately plan engaging instruction and activities.
We fully recognize that this decision will not be well received by some in our community because it does not eliminate the hardship posed by the hybrid schedule on many of our families. Please know that we remain committed to opening our doors to all of our students when the circumstances enable us to do so effectively. I want to thank you and our community for the continuous support, patience, and encouragement as we navigate each obstacle moving forward. I am extremely proud of the collective effort of our staff and I appreciate their sincere commitment to upholding our priorities of ensuring safety, achievement, and opportunity for all students. You can trust us to continue providing timely, transparent communication as we monitor this situation daily. Should a need arise to adjust our schedule moving forward, please know we will notify you in a timely manner as possible. Thank you for the part you play in making WCPS an outstanding place for students and staff.
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