Schools plan virtual learning options for upcoming school year

Local News

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) As the scheduled start of the school year in Kentucky gets closer, school districts across the commonwealth are still finalizing plans for both on-line and in-person learning as the COVID numbers continue to change.

Before school restarts in, and outside the classroom, school districts have to know how learning will look.

“As the rest of the world is dealing with the changes, the schools will as well,” says Jana Beth Francis, assistant superintendent for Daviess Co. Public Schools.

Owensboro Public and Daviess County Public Schools are planning for virtual school options to coincide with the expected start of in-person learning, but not all details are done. OPS parents preferring to have their child learn at home must fill out a survey to express interest in the system’s Virtual Academy. Superintendent Dr. Matthew Constant says parents and staff who answered a June survey had concerns about returning to in-person learning.

“When we did our June survey, even back then, we had some families that said, ‘I have a high risk relative at home’, ‘I still don’t feel comfortable coming back in person yet.’ We knew we had that sentiment going on,” he said.

Constant also hopes to have at least 15 to 20% of students sign up for the virtual academy to help with physical distancing for in-person learning. Francis says parents also need to prepare for making sure their child is getting their work done.

“I think what parents need to start thinking about is if they were to select an option where students are home and receiving virtual learning, how will they partner with us to make sure the students are completing the work,” she said.

Hopkins County and Dawson Springs Independent Schools are calling parents to learn what their preferences will be as those districts finalize their plans.

As for Owensboro Public Schools’s plan, Dr. Constant says parents have until next Friday to fill out the survey and the board will vote on the final details at their next meeting on July 23rd.

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(This story was originally published on July 9, 2020) 

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