Pendleton County students will have in-person learning five days a week
Listening to Pendleton County Schools Superintendent Joe Buerkley, his goal has always been what teachers and students will be doing on Monday, March 1.
“From the beginning of the pandemic, our goal has been to safely return to five-day, in-person learning,” he said while pointing out that they considered many different pieces of information.
“At this time, Pendleton County’s case numbers are continuing to decline. Our community numbers are lower than they have been in months and our school (staff and students) cases are almost non-existent. Our staff will have an opportunity to receive their second round of the COVID vaccination on Saturday, February 20th, which means they will be fully vaccinated by March 1st. This will be our best opportunity to try and return to in-person learning since March of last year, and we are excited to move in this direction,” added Buerkley.
The decision only affects students enrolled in the current A/B in-person learning while the PC CARES program will remain virtual.
Currently, about 30 percent of students are enrolled in the PC CARES program, and that will help with social distancing within classrooms.
A letter released to the parents states that Pendleton County Schools “will continue to adhere to the Kentucky Department of Education’s Healthy at School guidelines.” It includes but is not limited to:
Masks are required to be worn at all times with the only exception being when students are eating.
Social distancing will continue as much as possible but, in full transperency, there will be some areas of the building where six feet social distancing is not achievable.
Sanitizing, hand washing and symptom screening will take place daily and temperature checks will still be in effect before boading the bus and during parent drop-off each morning.
The large percentage of virtual students have not only helped in the classroom but with bus transportation, too.
“Based on our current information, our buses will not be fully loaded. This is due in part to the number of students who have chosen the virtual program and those being transported by parents. Our number of bus riders this year has been a bit lower due to an increase in parent transportation. I attribute this to the pandemic and would anticipate it will remain this way for the remainder of the year,” said Buerkley while pointing out that they will be prepared to transport any student who needs transportation.
While the school district is working diligently to provide a safe in-person learning environment, parents have a big role to play in this return to the schools.
“I would ask parents to communicate with their child’s school when your child is sick, has been exposed to a positive case, or has a family member awaiting test results. Please keep your child home if they are experiencing any COVID related symptoms,” said Buerkley.