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Although Dr. Benny Lile is officially retired from his post as the superintendent of Metcalfe County schools, he has made it a point to work closely with the new superintendent, Josh Hurt, in the process of developing a reopening plan for the school system.
The school system is not yet prepared to release a complete plan of action, but having the governor’s mandatory guidelines has helped lay a foundation, and they know a few things for certain.
“At this time I do not foresee us opening with NTI work, we will welcome children back to the classroom,” Hurt said.
However, both Hurt and Lile recognize that not all parents are ready for their children to return to the classroom, and say that flexibility will be the name of the game as they move forward.
“For those parents who do not wish to send their kids back at this time, we understand,” said Lile. “Our teachers are ready to work with each individual to do what works best for each student.”
Some school systems have said that if parents choose to keep their children on homebound education, they cannot return to a more traditional model until after the winter break. Hurt says he hopes to have less rigid guidelines.
“If a student starts out doing work from home and then the parents see that it’s going okay after a month or two for the students in the classroom, I hope to offer them the option of returning to the classroom.”
Although Gov. Beshear has made certain determinations statewide, there is plenty of wiggle room for each district to adapt a plan that fits. In order to determine what serves the student body best in Metcalfe, the school system is conducting a survey for parents, asking pertinent questions regarding expectations for what is certain to be an unusual year.
“Would you rather your child go to school every other day and have a mask available, but not necessarily have to wear it in the classroom, or go everyday knowing they would have to wear a mask?” Lile asked, saying it is one of the questions on the survey.
The survey can be accessed via the school system’s Facebook page, Twitter, and on their website.
To Metcalfe’s advantage, while many year round school systems in Kentucky are scrambling to finalize a plan by the first of August, Metcalfe County does not plan to return to until August 31.
“We’ve known all along that we have a little more time to figure this out,” Lile said.
In part, the added time will help to gauge the responses of parents and students, and in part, it will allow more time to see what developments occur in the course of the pandemic before everyone returns.
Another certainty is that the educators and staff will be prepared for the changes that lie ahead.
“We will definitely have meetings or training of some sort to cover every aspect of the plan we are working on,” Hurt said.
Lile, who has always been an avid supporter and proponent of technology in the school system says that the teachers did a good job of holding meetings via computer under the stressful circumstances last spring, and knows they will thrive in doing so this fall.
“Whatever is decided, we will do whatever we can to make sure that each student enrolled will have the best-individualized education possible,” Hurt said.
Read the Edmonton Herald-News for updates concerning the 2020-2021 school year.