School doesn’t follow governor’s recommendation, opens with in-person classes

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DANVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Danville Christian Academy opened on Wednesday with in-person instruction, just two days after Governor Andy Beshear recommended all schools delay the start of in-person instruction until late September due to the surging coronavirus.

“I think every parent would say this, that they would die for their child and I would mine,” said Jodi Holsclaw, mother of 4-year-old Ava, a Kindergartner at DCA.  She said she felt what every parent has felt during the pandemic, fear.

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Holsclaw said the school’s staff helped her feel prepared in every way for the start of her daughter’s school year.

“I think it means to me the fact that I am so worrisome and I care about my child so much for me to send her off to school and break that connection we’ve had for four months, I think that says a lot about DCA,” Holsclaw said.

She added, the reality of dropping off Ava knowing she would be around other kids really hit her Wednesday.  She said it helped that the school had taken the necessary steps to protect the students.

Headmaster Jim Ward said the school has 215 students and the largest classroom only has 20 children, so there would be enough space for social distancing.

Other precautions the school took to begin with in-person instruction included, a hand washing schedule for everyone, and eight hand sanitizing stations.

“When they come through in the morning there’s a kiosk in there and they can actually look at the kiosk and the kiosk recognizes their face, they put their hand up, it gives them a temperature check and it reminds them to wear your mask. so we’ve got two of those, they’re portable, so we’re going to move those between not only the main building but also the gymnasium,” Headmaster Ward said.

The school also added plexiglass dividers across tables where social distancing wasn’t possible.

Jerica Shannon’s 3-year-old son Jackson started Pre-K.

She said it had been a whirlwind of emotions, but because of the safety steps, she felt confident sending Jackson to school.

“We do not fear it, we’re not going to live in fear, but definitely respect and there is a way to approach life every day with respect of the coronavirus,” said Shannon.

Shannon said although starting the new school year with in-person instruction worked well for DCA, she acknowledged it may not work well for larger schools.

Students at Danville Christian Academy do have the option of starting the school year with online classes.