FCPS mask protocols to remain in place rest of school year

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Courtesy: MGN Online

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County Public Schools current mask protocols will remain in place for the rest of the school year, according to Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm.

That means all students and adults, with the exception of those who have a medical exemption or ARC-determined exemption, are required to wear masks while on school property.

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Helm also says graduations are expected to go on as planned at Rupp Arena and in-person instruction is expected to continue through the end of the school year.

She also reported the district’s coronavirus quarantine number of 430 is a three-week low.  Helm also reported the number of cases among students and staff was at 41 in the past week.

The district also announced a COVID-19 vaccination opportunity at STEAM Academy on Thursday, May 13, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The academy is located at 1555 Georgetown Road.  It’s open to families, students and staff.  Participants must make an appointment.  To register, click here.

Stakeholders are also invited to sign-up for coronavirus vaccination appointments at Bryan Station, Frederick Douglass, Henry Clay, Lafayette, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Tates Creek high schools on May 18, 2021.

Marlene Helm’s letter home to parents on Tuesday is below:

Dear Fayette County Public Schools Families:

With just two Tuesdays left in the school year, COVID-19 cases in our community are holding steady. The current 7-day average of new cases in Fayette County is 37, keeping us in orange on the FCPS In-Person Learning Matrix.

After an uptick last week, positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff are down to 41 in the past week and the number of individuals placed into quarantine due to possible exposure is at a three-week low of 430.

We remain on track to complete the school year in person and celebrate our Class of 2021 in Rupp Arena.

During our meeting today with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, we talked at length about the evolving guidance regarding outdoor mask use from the Governor, Kentucky Department of Education, and Centers for Disease Control.

In the end, we determined that our current mask protocols will remain in place for the rest of the school year. That means all students and adults (with the exception of those who have a medical exemption or ARC-determined exemption) are required to wear masks while on school property.

Many of our schools already allow students to be outdoors without masks as long as they are with their cohort. CDC guidance remains clear that those who are not fully vaccinated (which includes most of our students) should continue wearing a mask. We will revisit these guidelines for summer activities.

In closing, I want to make families, students and employees aware of another COVID-19 vaccination opportunity at one of our schools. Appointments are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, at STEAM Academy, located at 1555 Georgetown Road. To register, visit kyvax.wildhealth.com. Stakeholders are also invited to sign up for appointments at Bryan Station, Frederick Douglass, Henry Clay, Lafayette, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Tates Creek high schools on May 18.

Thank you once again for your continued support.

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.