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What will Fayette County Schools look like in the fall?

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Fayette County Public School district officials face “unprecedented” times and must answer a variety of questions in looking at how and when to start school in a safe way in the upcoming school year, Superintendent Manny Caulk says.

Issues under consideration include whether to take the temperatures of students and staff with infrared thermometers, how to achieve social distancing in a classroom and on school buses, possibly having more nurses on hand in schools, and having students attending school on alternate days.

“We are certainly looking at everything,” Caulk said. “We could start out face to face and end up with intermittent school closures. “

The Kentucky Department of Education said, “That it will provide guidance for several possibilities for reopening schools.”

Students in Kentucky have not attended in-person classes since mid-March and now that classes are ending the focus will be turned to the Fall semester. Currently, district officials are also trying to determine if it is possible for students to school on staggered schedules, for example, some students would attend Mondays and Wednesdays and others on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman want districts to consider all possibilities for when the next school year might start. Two options are an earlier start date or a later date, perhaps after Labor Day or a date later in October.

The earlier start could be Aug. 3 or even late July, which would allow for some reclosure days if there is a resurgenge of COVID-19 infections locally. Caulk said he thought that a later start date in the fall might be a little less likely.

“The general consensus is uncertainty,” Annalee Peters, a current Fayette County teacher said. “We all want to work and be with our students but with the CDC guidelines, we really have no idea what to expect.  I think every teacher is hoping for the best in the fall but preparing for the worst-case scenario which could mean more social distance learning, staggard schedules, or other CDC suggestions.”