OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – While most western Kentucky school districts are starting the year online, Owensboro Catholic Schools are still going forward with plans for in-person classes, going against Governor Beshear’s recommendation of starting online.
While most western Kentucky students will start in virtual classrooms in a few weeks, Owensboro Catholic students will start in their classrooms.
“We felt like our parents and stakeholders wanted this to happen. They wanted their kids to get back to a schedule, to some normalcy of life,” said Supt. Dave Kessler. Students in all 17 of the districts schools will be back in class five days a week. He says having fewer students than some public school districts can help with physical distancing and other guidelines, including masks required inside.
“When we have schools that have smaller numbers, we have the opportunity to mix up the schedule, put different people in the hallways at different times, use different classrooms,and the ability to spread out in the classroom,” Supt. Kessler explained.
“I felt like it was the right move and that they’re being strong and sticking to their guns. It’s great news,” adds Holly Pfeifer, whose children go to Owensboro Catholic Schools.
But Gov. Beshear criticized the decision of catholic schools in Kentucky going back to in-person classes during Wednesday’s briefing, saying he doesn’t believe its safe.
Other districts continue their plans for remote learning to start the year. Daviess County Public School Superintendent Matt Robbins says they still may use their previously approved A-B model in October after starting remotely for the first month. They now plan to start that model after their Fall Break.
“We have not given up on our A-B plan. We did spend a lot of time on that. We felt like for good measure, at risk mitigation, and so therefore we want to make sure that it gets an opportunity that it gets heard,” he said.
As for church services held for Owensboro Catholic School students, Supt. Kessler tells us that while they will still try to hold them during the school year, he admits that they will have to make some changes, including limiting the number of people inside the church at a time.
(This story was originally published on August 12, 2020)