By JENNIFER MOONSONG
Monday afternoon Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky’s public schools would remain closed for the rest of the year, bringing an end to much anticipated question on the lips of students, parents and educators.
“Every health care professional has advised us that this is the right course of action to take,” said the Governor.
Beshear advised superintendents to continue the non-traditional academic course for the remainder of the school year, and added that non-traditional studies should be wrapped up by the end of May. Each school system will decide when their last day is.
“We expect to make an announcement concerning closing day and end of year activities in the near future,” said Metcalfe County’s Superintendent, Dr. Benny Lile.
Neighboring states including Indiana and Tennessee have already announced their decision to do the same.
“We were all expecting this news. It’s unfortunate that our students won’t get to finish the school year together. With that said, I am extremely proud of the efforts of our students and staff as we have worked through the NTI process,” said Lile.
Lile announced his retirement last fall, and last week Josh Hurt was named superintendent, beginning this July.
“Obviously we are sad that our students won’t be able to finish the school year in a traditional fashion. Especially, it is so tough for our seniors and families of our seniors,” Hurt said.
Although traditional rights of passage are out of the question for exiting students, both Lile and Hurt hope to offer Metcalfe students some positive conclusion.
“We will try our hardest to make the end of the school year as special as we can,” Hurt said.
Lile said the school system will officially announce its last day in the near future, as will neighboring counties.
Megan Jessie Jones, principal at Le Grande Elementary in Hart County also expected the announcement, but says that didn’t make it any easier.
“I feel like ultimately it will keep everyone safe and healthy and it is for the best, but it’s sad to think of not going back this year.”
Jones added that even though this is certainly different, that children are resilient and believes that when school is back in session this Fall, students will bounce back.
However, in the interim Jones has concerns that reach beyond education.
“For now, I worry about the students whose physical and emotional needs are not being met at home.”
“I know for many this is hard. We have seniors that were looking forward to an in-person graduation and a prom,” said Beshear at the Monday press conference.
“It’s not fair. It’s not. But a worldwide pandemic has hit us, and those of you who are missing out on these opportunities, we need your help and we need your sacrifice. Ultimately, the experience you are losing is hard, but your willingness to do it is going to help us save lives.”