FCPS makes changes to COVID practices

At a special-called meeting, the superintendent was granted authority to choose masking requirements and the Virtual Learning Academy will be 're-imagined'.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County Public Schools held a special-called Board of Education meeting Wednesday to talk about an update on COVID-19 policies. Some of the topics on the table included the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) and masking guidelines.

FCPS is one of the last districts in the state with a universal masking mandate. During the meeting, the district voted to let Superintendent Demetrus Liggins have the power to decide masking requirements without having to call a Board of Education meeting.

“With the ever-changing conditions of this virus, and they’re moving so quickly, I anticipate once we hit that level that the board has designated according to the CDC guidelines, I can make that decision immediately without needing to go through those steps,” says Liggins.

Superintendent Liggins says his choice on masking will continue to be based on CDC recommendations. Because Fayette County is still considered high risk by the CDC, a mask is still required in school but with case numbers dropping, he says that could change at any time.

“It’s going down fairly drastically and rapidly so I’m not going to predict either but it is definitely trending in the right direction,” says Liggins.

Another COVID practice coming to an end is VLA. According to the school board, VLA was put in place as an alternative school choice for parents during the pandemic. Wednesday, the district unanimously voted to dissolve the academy, transitioning kindergarten through fifth grade students back to their regularly assigned district school and giving sixth through twelfth grade students a virtual option through the Success Academy.

“We still have several options for parents to choose, and families who would like to do different things for their students, that’s one of the great things about Fayette County Public Schools,” says Liggins.

According to the school board, elementary students have to transition back to in-person learning because the state waiver to allow them to learn virtually expires in June and a new waiver has not been given out.

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