Local school districts are reporting a positive first day to the return of in-person learning.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear recommended districts cease in-person learning around Thanksgiving as COVID-19 numbers began to rise. In December, he recommended districts not return until Jan. 11.
However, three districts returned on Monday. Those districts included Mason, Bracken and St. Patrick schools.
Mason County Schools Superintendent Rick Ross said students returned on Jan. 4 to an A/B schedule.
Kindergarten through fifth-grade students are attending in-person for five days a week with a noon dismissal on Wednesdays. Preschool and sixth- through 12th-grade students are attending on a hybrid A/B schedule with students attending in-person part of the week and virtually part of the week.
Information on the schedule can be found on the district’s website.
According to Ross, there were no issues with the first day of school.
“We had a wonderful day. Our students fell right back into the routine. Our staff was excited for our kids to return. It was nice to see students greeting each other. There were many smiles beneath those masks,” he said.
Ross said 1,737 students are currently attending in-person.
Rev. Andrew Young, with St. Patrick School said the majority of students enrolled are attending in-person.
“Our first day went very smooth,” he said. “The majority of our students are attending in-person and we’re very excited. Everyone is happy to be back.”
Bracken County Schools Superintendent Jeff Aulick said his students are also attending school on an A/B schedule with more than 80 percent of students attending in-person.
Aulick said the first day went well, with only minor issues with the scheduling.
“It was a great day,” he said. “Administration and staff worked hard to make sure the schedule provided six feet distancing or more to keep both the staff and students safe.”
Other districts, such as Augusta Independent, Fleming County and Robertson County schools plan to return to in-person learning on Jan. 11.
Creasman said he believes the extra week is needed in order to allow staff to adequately prepare for the return of students.
“Most importantly, I feel an extended break is needed for our staff, students, and families. Everyone has COVID-19 fatigue resulting from all the protocols that we must follow to keep everyone healthy and safe. I have witnessed much perseverance over the span of NTI and it is evident that everyone is working in overdrive and extremely tired. Everyone needs to recharge the next three weeks so that we can start and finish the spring semester strong. I encourage you to be safe, rest, and spend much needed time enjoying the holiday season,” he said.
Robertson County Schools Superintendent Sanford Holbrook said his district will return on Jan. 11.
“I’m excited to return to in-person learning,” he said. “I think that the biggest impact for most students learning is from in-person classes. We will follow on the guidance and procedure set forth by KDE and our local health department to ensure the safest environment for our students and staff.”
Augusta Independent School will also return to in-person learning on Jan. 11 per a post via the district’s Facebook page.
“The district will resume in-person instruction on Jan. 11. We will continue to utilize the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday schedule with Wednesday being used for virtual learning/deep cleaning. All healthy at school guidelines (masking, social distancing, etc.) that were in place prior to Thanksgiving will continue,” the post read.