Barren County Schools provide reassurance for parents amid COVID, Monkeypox rise

Schools easing health and safety concerns as students prepare for the year
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:44 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Back to school is right around the corner and the Barren County School District is ready to get things underway.

“I think everybody’s really excited to start the school year, we have a lot of programs in place,” said Barren County Schools’ Public Relations Assistant, Heather Gardner. “I’m really excited about all the technology we have in place, a lot of new staff.”

With COVID-19 cases back on the rise, the district has said they’ll keep all previous precautions in place.

“If they’re symptomatic, they stay at home. If someone tests positive, they are still quarantined for that five day period. If someone is exposed to household contact, they quarantine for those five days from the last date of exposure,” Gardner said.

Monkeypox has also made it into the Commonwealth, with eight cases currently in the state. Gardner says the district isn’t too concerned.

“I think there have only been two cases among children thus far in the United States. So, it’s not a huge threat at this point,” she said. “The symptoms are very similar to COVID. So, we need our parents to be diligent. When their kids begin to show symptoms, they keep them at home.”

Gardner also said she has faith in the district’s sanitation programs to ensure everything is kept as germ-free as possible.

“Our custodians do a great job,” she said. “Buildings are cleaned daily, surfaces are cleaned daily. Teachers do a great job of encouraging hand washing, especially among our younger students. Plenty of hand sanitizer in the classrooms, things like that.”

For those parents who may still feel a bit uneasy about sending their kids to school, the Barren County School District also offers virtual learning via the Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning, or BAVEL for short.

“It’s not the traditional brick and mortar school, it’s completely online,” Gardner said. “It has a full K through 12 curriculum, where all of the Kentucky academic standards are being met.”

Overall, the district wants parents to know that the schools are putting children’s health first.

“I think kids are incredibly resilient. We have a caring, compassionate staff,” she said. “We have a great partnership with the Healthy Kids clinic. We have the pieces in place to really work to make sure that our students are healthy, and to prevent the spread of disease as much as we can.”

For more information on the Barren County Schools COVID plans or the BAVEL program, visit the Barren County School District’s website.

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