Fayette County Public Schools has released a statement for COVID-19 updates:
Gov. Andy Beshear recommended April 20 that Kentucky schools not return to in-person instruction this spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means Fayette County Public Schools will extend Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Teachers, principals, and district leaders are sensitive to the fact that families are juggling a lot right now. While the implementation of NTI provides a way to keep students engaged in learning, it was never designed to be a long-term replacement for the learning that happens over the course of a day, week, or month of school. Each school is communicating academic expectations directly with families, but Superintendent Manny Caulk assured them that work done during NTI will not lower any student’s grade. The district will provide plenty of flexibility to help students complete work and allow safety nets for students who need additional help.
The state Department of Education will let each NTI day count as seven hours of instruction, which will enable FCPS to end the school year sooner than expected. School districts in Kentucky are required to complete a minimum of 1,062 instructional hours, but because of a commitment to prepare students to compete in a global society, the regular school year in FCPS exceeds the minimum requirements, which now provides flexibility to end this semester one day earlier than scheduled.
Before NTI started on April 6, students had missed 11 instructional days (Feb. 6 and 7, March 16-19, and March 23-27). If Tuesday, May 19 (originally a day off for students because of the primary election) is converted to an NTI day, FCPS will reach the 1,062-hours requirement on May 27. At the next meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education on April 27, district officials will ask the school board to amend the instructional calendar to make Wednesday, May 27, the last day of school for students.
At this time, Beshear has said no in-person proms or graduation ceremonies can take place because Kentucky has not met the requirements to enter Phase I of reopening. Rest assured that FCPS officials are exploring possible ways to safely celebrate the end of the school year and the accomplishments of the district’s amazing young people.
In addition to the core purpose of educating children, while schools remain closed, FCPS will continue to:
- Prepare and distribute free breakfast and lunch for children at 21 school pick-up locations. Meals for multiple days are available on Mondays and Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Any individual 18 years of age and younger can pick up meals at any location; not all children need to be present.
- Work with community partners to provide supplemental meals to families in need. Since new offerings are developed constantly, anyone seeking information about these resources should call the United Way of the Bluegrass 211 Contact Center for the most up-to-date information.
- Keep health clinics open at Cardinal Valley, Tates Creek, and William Wells Brown elementary schools, and Lexington Traditional Magnet School to serve students and families. Please call HealthFirst Bluegrass at (859) 288-2425 to check on availability.
- Support more than 3,000 families with weekend food through Family Resource Centers and Youth Services Centers. FCPS is especially grateful to the Jenna and Matthew Mitchell Foundation at Blue Grass Community Foundation and The Calipari Foundation for making it possible to support hundreds of families during this unprecedented emergency.
- Respond to and support the social and emotional well-being of youth and families with the district’s mental health professionals. To reach this service, call (859) 381-4100. For an immediate mental health crisis, please call the New Vista crisis hotline at (800) 928-8000. This is a local service.
Being apart has made connection more important for all. Through phone calls, emails, videos, and virtual meetings, FCPS staff is continuing to reach out to students and families. Please help keep the lines of communication open by staying in touch with teachers, too.
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