OPS discusses spring semester learning options

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – While students keep going through the fall semester, Owensboro Public School officials are looking ahead to spring semester.

They announced options for how in-person learning will look next semester, as Daviess County currently sits in Kentucky’s red zone.

“What we want to do in the second semester is lay out all the options that could be possible,” said Supt. Matthew Constant.

OPS officials were laying out options, while looking out for what the pandemic may look like months from now.

“We don’t know what is going to happen with the virus data and to conjecture that our that far would not be feasible, so we wanted to layout what options exist,” says Supt. Constant.

Constant says the options for the upcoming spring semester are continuing the A-B model, modifying it by adding another in-person learning day for either group, all virtual learning, and allowing additional in-person learning of up to five days. The virtual academy will be offered for the upcoming semester. But Constant says to get to five day a week in-person learning requires clearing hurdles including limited indoor space.

“If we can find a way in our limited facilities that we got to be able to distance the kids, so that everyone feels safe, or if we get different guidance to where we can change that. We’re happy to look more into that,” He says.

Daviess County is currently in the red zone, with more than 31 cases per 100,000 residents. But public health officials say they aren’t seeing many cases stemming directly from schools.

“We do notice, or I’ve noticed, at least my observation is as school kicked back off, our daily lives changed. We interacted with other people more, parents interacted with each other and that correlated to community spread,” said Clay Horton of the Green River District Health Dept. during Thursday’s meeting.

Some parents like Ashley Johnson say they’d like to see more learning material for students during the current hybrid model.

“Right now, my son is going two days a week and the other three days, he may get assignments here and there. He’s getting no new material instruction on those three days,” Johnson explained.

Supt. Constant says they’ll decide each Thursday on which learning model to use based on the state of the pandemic in Daviess County.

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(This story was originally published on November 5, 2020) 

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