BOURBON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Students with the Bourbon County School District are back in the classroom as of Monday and parent Mandy Thornberry is thrilled.
“School is where kids need to be, and it’s so important for kids to be there. The social aspect, as well as those kids that don’t maybe have as much help that my kid has at home, that I’m thankful for, those kids need to be in school,” Thornberry said.
Mandy’s son Jase is in the first grade, but with a 1-year-old at home and she and her husband both working a full time job…virtual learning was sometimes difficult for the family.
Their support system was good and they had help when they needed it, but Mandy says the education a student can get from in person versus virtual learning is a big difference.
Being back in school was just what they needed.
“He was so excited to be back to see his friends that he hadn’t been able to see, so happy to see his teacher” added Thornberry.
Superintendent of Bourbon County School District, Amy Baker, says the return to in person learning was successful as students followed safety protocols and procedures including two temperature checks a day.
“We see them follow the social distancing guidelines, wearing their mask, washing their hands. They want to do all those things the right way so we can try to stay in school this time” said Baker.
“They don’t argue about it…they know that it is important,” added Bourbon Middle School Principal, Travis Earlywine.
More learning spaces like the gym and cafeterias are being utilized by the schools as a way to ensure social distancing.
But, the halls of each school aren’t full just yet, as many students have chosen to stick with virtual learning.
It is an option that is available to them and to staff. Baker says that some teachers do not feel comfortable going back in person and have obtained doctors notes to continue their work virtually,
The district says around 75% of students in the elementary school were back in the classroom, with 60% at the middle school level and only 12% of high school students.
“We’re trying to find that balance where everybody is happy in a bad situation” said Baker.
Substitute teachers are also being brought in as full-time workers to help accommodate the change in learning. Extra custodial staff has been hired to help maintain cleanliness and extra sanitation.