Madison County pushes back start of school; will begin virtually

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Madison County Board of Education on Thursday night reluctantly voted to push the start of school to Wednesday, September 2, and begin the school year with online learning only.

In a post on its Facebook page, the school district said the move was made under advisement from its legal counsel and following a meeting with the Kentucky Department of Education.

The Richmond Register reports the action was taken at Thursday night’s meeting after tearful testimony and desperate pleas from students, teachers and parents to begin the new school year with in-person instruction.

“We have guns being held at us under the table,” school board member Brandon Rutherford said, according to the newspaper report.

Rutherford and others referred to Governor Andy Beshear’s recommendation this week to all schools in Kentucky to delay the start of in-person classes at least until September 28 due to the surging coronavirus.

The district says it’s returning to its original three-option plan, including in-person instruction to begin September 28.

Students who chose Option 1 (in-person instruction) will be contacted at the beginning of next week for more details for the start of school, according to the district.

Students who originally selected Option 2 (interactive distance learning) or Option 3 (independent distance learning) will begin the school year virtually and will continue in that format after in-person instruction is allowed, according to MCPS.

Below is from the school district’s post on Facebook:

“We understand the frustration and inconvenience this decision causes the majority of families in our community. And we hope you all know how immensely disappointed we are to postpone in-person instruction. We remain committed to our belief that in-person instruction is what is best for kids, especially after being isolated for such a long period of time. We will continue to prepare to have students in the buildings as quickly as possible and will welcome them with the same enthusiasm no matter what date the calendar reads.”

“Thank you for your support as we make these extremely difficult and often unfair decisions. We are so grateful for this community!”

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