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Butler Co. students get option to return in-person 4 days a week starting March 15

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 8:32 PM CST
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) - Monday morning, Butler County Superintendent Robert Tuck met with other education officials in the area to discuss re-opening plans for the district.

“We kind of threw everything out there in regards to what we were looking at doing. We got feedback, and then we made a decision today that we wanted to go ahead and get it out there to the public that we’re going to try to start back on March 15,” Tuck said.

Since last fall, the district has operated on a hybrid schedule, where one group of students attended in-person classes Monday and Tuesday, and the rest attended Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, Wednesday was an NTI day.

March 15 will be the first time in nearly a year that all students will be invited back into school buildings as usual. Students who are learning through the district’s virtual academy will still have the option to do so, and Wednesdays will remain NTI days for all students. Superintendent Tuck said this is in order to deep clean the schools and allow for outreach to at-risk students.

Tuck went on to say that several factors went into the decision to open up the classrooms. COVID-19 cases in the state and within the district are on a decline, and several teachers, faculty and staff members have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Currently, we have six staff and or students that are positive, and we have five that are actually quarantined as of today (Monday),” Tuck explained.

The district is also vowing to continue implementing several mitigation steps such as daily health screenings, mask requirements for students and staff, social distancing when possible and providing hand sanitizing stations.

The school system prides itself on having an updated air filtration system to help stop the spread, another factor in the decision.

“Our district went in and updated it at the beginning of this school year,” Tuck said. “It actually turns over the air six times per hour, which puts in clean air and actually cleans it more, so we’re very proud that we were able to get that for students and that I think that has helped along the way.”

Tuck said March 15th will mark the start of the last quarter of the year for students, making for a smooth transition.

“We know that there’s going to be an academic gap that has happened because of this. We know that, but just as importantly, probably more importantly, is the social-emotional aspects that our students are dealing with because of the lack of being in school and being in person,” Tuck explained when asked why it was important for students to return to the classroom.

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