Statewide school boards discuss a supplemental school year for 2020-2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Under a new state law, the deadline has passed for parents to request their children be allowed to repeat the school year or supplement courses because of the pandemic.

Now, the academic ball is in the court of every local school board to grant or deny the requests, not on an individual basis, but as a whole.

500 students in Fayette County and thousands statewide have applied to take advantage of the new law.

Tim Spencer, the superintendent of Menifee County says there’s about 14 families who want to have this repeated year for their child.  However, first the local board of education must approve it and it’s not on a case by case basis.

“You can’t just select one or two students if the board agrees to do it they have to allow all the students to have the supplemental school year,” says Spencer.

Hannah Rubsam, a Madison County mom says she is thankful for the option.  This year, her family not only moved to Kentucky from out of state, but did so in the midst of the pandemic. On top of everything else, it was her sons first year in kindergarten.

A family decision was made to home school her son until children were allowed back into the classroom.  Since then, Rubsam says her son is doing well academically.  However, she’s chosen to enroll him in some extra school through one of the programs offered under the new law so that he can socially excel.

“He’s really liking school a lot. Because he’s really enjoying it I would like to keep up the moment’s positive feeling about school. Besides, summer can get kind of boring sometimes so we thought it would be great for him to keep socializing and mix around with other kids that he might have in his class next year,” explains Rubsam.

The option to repeat a grade has been around for awhile.

But this year’s measure provides a new take. The school districts say it won’t cause major problems while at the same time helping kids.

“Every year there are children who may not have mastered all of the material and they repeat that year and the only thing that makes this different is that seniors were also given the option to do their senior year again,” says Lisa Deffendall with Fayette County Schools.

All local school boards statewide have to decide by June 1st whether to allow the repeat year or not.

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