Ky. families adjust to NTI classes at home for remaining school year

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Monday, it was confirmed, the remaining school year for 2020 would be completed using non-traditional instruction, NTI, at home for Kentucky students.

For one Lexington family, with mom and dad both employed at Frederick Douglass High School, school has always trickled home, even before the pandemic.

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Ariea King teaches classes that help kids transition to college or a career and his wife Casey is the registrar. Both say the number one change is not getting to see the students in-person.

”I miss the kids I miss seeing them so much. And that has been kind of the general consensus with all the teachers we’ve talked with,” Casey King said.

There’s one more Bronco in the family, 15-year-old Lauren, plus two in middle school, Miles and Vada, to make up the King household.

More rural districts have used NTI, Non-traditional instruction often and for many years. But in Fayette County, where snow days aren’t as frequent, this is the first time Fayette County public schools have turned to NTI for instruction.

Something the Kings say is fitting for a non-traditional time.

“NTI is very necessary and an important way to continue education in the best way possible,” A. King said.

“Initially [it was] confusing. Now, not at all. And like I said, there were a lot of kinks worked out that first week,” C. King said.

Understandably, that means mom and dad have to help out with class and assignments, especially when it comes to math.

“Lots of it! Yeah, on three different grade levels. That’s been interesting,” the two said.

But on the bright side, their communal desk by day, doubles as the game table by night.

“It kind of slow things down for us, which is great. And we have time now to do things like play Monopoly,” mom said.

So what’s it like for the youngest King, 11-year-old Vada?

“Sometimes it’s hard to have a clear understanding of what the teacher wants us to do,” she said.

But, she’s trying to embrace the silver lining, like never having to change out of her pjs and breakfast during “class.”

She also agrees with her mom, the increased family time is nice, but more for in reference to her parents, less in regards to her siblings.

She even jokes, “I annoy them.”

Vada said class work and self-paced assignments is a little different though.

“Like my dad said, we’re getting an experience of what college is like,” she said.

Looking ahead, it’s still uncertain if the 2020-2021 school year will be more “home schooling” or back to in-person classes.

The Kings say they’re hopeful to go back.

“I don’t make predictions, but I am hoping we get back to doing education the way we know education to be,” A. King said.

In the meantime, after class you can find the Kings walking the dog, playing interactive hop scotch or the never-ending game of Monopoly.