How hybrid learning is going for Montgomery County Schools

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — Some Fayette County public school students returned to the classroom for the first time since the pandemic hit for in-person extra help.

As school districts like Fayette County continue to discuss ways to safely bring all kids back into the classroom with a hybrid model, we checked-in on a district that’s had in-person learning for almost a month now to see how it’s going.

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Montgomery County Schools is going into its fourth week of being hybrid, a mixture of in-person and virtual learning, with two days in school and the other three online at home.

“It’s gone very well,” says Superintendent Matt Thompson, Ph.d. “We’ve been able to have kids come back in which has been an extremely positive thing for both them and us.”

Of the county’s roughly 4,300 students about 2,500 are getting in-person instruction. They’re divided into two different groups.

“Because of the hybrid model we are able to have smaller class sizes,” says Thompson.

Which the district is getting positive feedback on with more personal attention for the students.

“We’re able to socially distance in 90-95% of our classrooms,” says Thompson. “That in turn results in less quarantining.”

Thompson says they’ve only had two students inside the school test positive and no other students have had to quarantine. And though being back in schools has been a success, Thompson says there have been challenges.

“Our teachers are looking at different models where they’re trying to provide support and instruction on those non-in person days and that’s just tough,” says the superintendent.

What will make that easier is being in person five days a week but he knows they’re not quite there yet.

Thompson says a big part of the district’s success is due to visiting another district with students in class, before returning, to see how it might look.

“It helped reinforce we did have a good plan but it also allowed us to find a couple pieces that we needed to strengthen,” says Thompson.

He advises any district considering in-person to do the same.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.