Time nearing for families to request a “repeat” school year for their child

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County Public Schools acting superintendent reminded families Thursday night in a letter they have essentially until May 1, 2021, to request their child repeat a school year.

A new state law makes it possible for students currently enrolled in grades K-12 to use the 2021-22 academic year to retake or supplement courses or grades they’ve taken this school year during the pandemic.

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More details with links to request forms are below in the letter to Fayette County Public School families from Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm:

Dear Fayette County Public Schools Families:

A new law approved last month by the Kentucky General Assembly and signed by the Governor makes it possible for students currently enrolled in grades K-12 to use the 2021-22 school year to retake or supplement the courses or grades they have taken this school year.

You may have heard this opportunity referred to as “Senate Bill 128” or the “Supplemental School Year” program. Essentially, it gives families until May 1, 2021 to request a “repeat” year for their child. The Fayette County Board of Education must then decide before June 1, 2021 to either accept all of the requests or none of the requests.

If you are interested in this option for your child, please fill out the online request form here before 11:59 p.m. on May 1. Only complete the form if you would like to request the supplemental year. If you would like to request a supplemental year for more than one child, you must fill out a form for each of the enrolled students.

We understand this may be a difficult decision for your family given the short timeline, however the law requires a quick turnaround. Fayette County Public Schools wants to help you make an informed decision about whether or not this option is right for your child.

We have placed information about the S.B. 128 Supplemental School Year Program on our website at www.fcps.net/sb128. We also have a dedicated email address – sb128@fayette.kyschools.us – where you can correspond with members of the district team who can help answer your questions.

A few things to note:

  • The Supplemental School Year Program was established for students to “retake or supplement courses or grades the student has already taken.” Courses taken during the supplemental year must be those the student previously was enrolled in during 2020-21 or bear a reasonable connection to previous courses.
  • Students may not retake or supplement courses or repeat grade levels from any school year before 2020-21, nor may they use the supplemental school year to explore courses they did not have the opportunity to take in prior years.
  • Students will receive the grade they earn in a retaken course. At the high school level, both the original grade and the new grade will remain on the transcript. The new grade will be calculated into the GPA of students in grades 9, 10 and 11. However, once a senior has graduated, their GPA cannot be changed.
  • Students who choose the supplemental year may still participate in extracurricular activities. At the high school level, they must meet KHSAA age and other eligibility requirements. If the student is 19 before August 1, 2021, they will be ineligible for KHSAA sports during the 2021-22 school year.
  • Every school already has an established process for students to be retained if they have not mastered the content they need to move on to the next grade level. What makes this program different is that it allows families to request retention, and it creates a pathway for seniors who have earned enough credits to graduate to return for a fifth year of high school.

The 2020-21 school year was vastly different than any other before. Yet, despite every obstacle, families, teachers, students and community members worked together to help our children make progress. It is truly incredible how much we accomplished “virtually,” and now that we are back in person, students are demonstrating substantial growth and achievement.

You know your child best, and we hope you will have a conversation with both your student and their teachers to determine whether this is the best course of action. Please let us know how we can support you.

Sincerely,

Marlene Helm

Fayette County Public Schools Acting Superintendent

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.