Clark schools delay hybrid, Scott County schools staying in-person

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CLARK/SCOTT COUNTIES, Ky. (WTVQ) – The surge in coronavirus cases is making two area school districts to take different approaches.

In a letter to parents this week, Clark County Schools Superintendent Paul Christy delayed the start of the district’s hybrid school plan that was scheduled to start Friday and canceled sports and extracurricular activities until next week.

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Meanwhile, Scott County schools will remain open in-person next week, November 2-6, 2020, district administrators said in a letter to parents.

In both cases, the school leaders implored their communities to help stem the spread of the virus.

“We understand that today the Kentucky COVID-19 Incidence Rate Map shows Scott County as a red community with an average of 25.8 positive cases per 100,000 residents.  As a school district, we monitor this data along with the real-time information made available to us daily by our partners at Wedco District Health Department,” the district’s letter said.

“At this time, Wedco District Health Department data confirms our ability to safely open school in-person through next week.

“It is important to communicate that the number of positive cases in our schools has been and remains low. We agree with our health officials that the science behind wearing masks is making a difference. In each of our schools, strict adherence to safety protocols has prevented the spread of COVID-19,” the letter continued.

“We implore our community to make responsible choices to ensure our students can stay in school and not be forced to transition back to virtual learning. If we want schools to remain open for in-person instruction, we must wear our masks, limit social gatherings, avoid large crowds, maintain a safe social distance, and wash our hands,” the letter went on, encouraging families to “consider safe options” to celebrate Halloween and “not expose yourself or your children to undue risk.”

“Together we can keep schools open for in-person instruction in Scott County, but we must take action now and we need your help,” the district said, making a reference to the county’s “red” incidence rate.

In his letter, Clark County Superintendent Paul Christy cited the increase in coronavirus cases in the county as the reason for delaying the start of the hybrid system which would have had students in school two days and taking classes virtually three days as opposed to the current virtual set up.

“Due to the increase in our community COVID-19 cases and after consultation with the Clark County Health Department, I am postponing our In-Person/Hybrid A/B group instruction start date of Friday, October 30, 2020. Over past weeks, the numbers of positive cases and other contributing factors in our community have continued to increase,” he said, noting the county’s rate moved into the “red” zone this week.

“We will evaluate the community case numbers daily. At this time, all students will continue
with distance learning instruction through Wednesday, November 4, 2020. We will continue to work with our local health department using COVID-19 daily updates regarding Clark County’s current status to assess what is best for the safety of all stakeholders.

“You will be notified of a possible return date by Tuesday, November 3, 2020. All students will continue with Distance Learning until In-Person instruction resumes. During this time, all athletic events and practices, extracurricular activities, and small group instruction in
Clark County will be cancelled.

“Student participation is still a requirement for attendance purposes. Staff will report to their buildings at regular times unless other arrangements are made with building administrators. Families may continue to pick up meals between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm Monday through Friday at any of our school locations excluding Preschool and Phoenix. This meal schedule will continue regardless of In-Person or Distance Learning,” Christy explained.

“Stopping the increase of local cases and returning our students to In-Person instruction, will require all of us working together as a community. Please continue to follow CDC and Clark County Health Department guidelines,” Christy urged.