New Ky. executive order aims to expand in-person learning

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:04 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - Governor Andy Beshear issued a new executive order Tuesday regarding schools.

The goal of the order aims to get Kentucky students back to in-person learning in a safe manner. The order recommends that schools offer or expand to some form of in-person learning by March 1, or seven days after educators have received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Some districts may opt for 14 days after the vaccine, Beshear said.

“There is or can be real concern on behalf of those that walk into a building where there’s going to be a lot of people, so the executive order sets out some requirements but also asks for districts to consider a number of different things that need to be considered to have the safe environment that all of our educators and all of our students deserve,” said the governor.

According to Beshear, all but six districts in the state of Kentucky already have some form of in-person instruction implemented. He adds of the 165 districts that have done so, at least 38 have all students in person four or five days a week, 103 have a hybrid schedule and 17 have elementary students in person four or five days a week and then a hybrid for middle school and high school.

Lt. Gov. Coleman said the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) issued a comprehensive, 136-page manual, KDE COVID-19 Guidance 2.0, which will assist with the shift back into school buildings.

“Kentucky continues to be a national leader in vaccinating our school staff, and getting our kids back in the classroom safely remains a top priority for every Kentuckian – from the Governor to our littlest learners,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “With this guidance, we hope to make the transition back to in-person learning as smooth and safe as possible.”

Lt. Gov. Coleman said the manual advises schools on planning school-related student travel; administering spring state testing; operating schools after teachers and staff are vaccinated; assessing knowledge gaps caused by the pandemic’s impact on learning; and using second round Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding.

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