Back to School in Louisville: Reopening guidelines for Fall 2020
Will kids go back to school in Louisville for fall 2020? What will that look like?
We are tracking information from local, state, federal sources to keep you up to date for what is being considered for fall 2020 public schools in our area. Decisions have not been made yet, but when they are, we will keep you posted.
Are you wondering if kids will go back to school in Louisville 2020 on time this fall? What changes will be made for safety protocols because of the Covide-19 pandemic? There are many things up in the air for consideration right now. Since JCPS is the largest school district, many are wondering about the JCPS reopening plans.
We have seen graphics floating around Facebook to provide conversation around this topic. It’s just meant to freak you out! Instead of share that without knowing its source, I decided to do some research for you specifically regarding back to school in Louisville 2020 and in the nearby counties. As an educator and diligent finder-of-information in my own doctoral studies, I care very much about what this pandemic might do to our education system and our students. Safety measures will likely change the way educators have to conduct instruction and that may go against the ideals they hold dear about how they choose to conduct classes or teaching practices they know work best.
What are the JCPS reopening plans or the plans for other nearby district? What about school reopening in Kentucky? That remains to be seen. We will keep tabs and update this page and list an updated date right here so you know!
Here are links to the current school calendars. These may change if guidelines regarding back to school in fall 2020 force changes.
Jefferson County Public Schools – possibly moving opening August 25
JCPS Reopening Updates
JCPS has created a website to update parents on what is being considered for next school year.
Safety Measures – Kentucky
Kentucky released transportation guidance – click here to read that information.
Updates are typically posted here https://education.ky.gov/comm/Pages/COVID-19-Reopening-Resources.aspx
State suspending limit on NTI days so schools can use them as needed in 2020-2021 school year. Also, the state will temporarily suspend the rule using attendance to determine funding – they will use the previous year’s numbers for funding.
More updates from the June 24 briefing
- Temperature checks (100.4 limit) when students arrive at school, screened for symptoms – mandatory
- Six feet of distance in classrooms – mandatory when moving. In classroom, students can be closer together if they are wearing a mask.
- When kids move around, they wear cloth masks. Something that is comfortable – does not have to be surgical.
- Cloths Masks will be worn on school buses.
- Masks for students – referring to kids in grades 1 and up. Optional for Kindergarten.
- What if kids refuse to wear masks? Schools will decide how to handle it. Jaqueline Coleman said she views it like a dress code item.
- Schools can decide to deliver instruction digitally or hybrid. School Districts will put out individual plans. The plans allow for flexibility by district.
“Wearing a mask is much more comfortable than wearing a respirator” Jacqueline Coleman, June 24
Full document of guidelines coming, I expect it to be posted online.
“The Healthy At School guidance will specify that masks will not be required on children who aren’t yet enrolled in 1st grade” This quote and more found at this link.
Information coming on June 25 regarding student transportation.
WFPL News reported on 6/22/20 a quote from Governor Beshear regarding school next year:
Ky. Gov. Andy Beshear on school re-opening plan:
“We’re going to be able to go back to in-person classes at least part of a week, and I hope all the week, but it’s got to look different.”
— 89.3 WFPL News (@WFPLNews) June 22, 2020
Masks/face coverings are expected if schools cannot get the optimal spacing. Read more here.
The Kentucky Department of Education released (5/15/2020) early guidance for back to school 2020. It is important to note that this is early guidance, it is not set in stone or a mandate. They have started planning and they are being transparent about those plans and all that is being considered for school reopening in Kentucky.
All of these things are there so that local, state, and federal officials can work together (hopefully) to reopen schools in a safe manner as it pertains to each local district!
Here is a link to that document. It has all of the details about items listed below.
Key items from this document – remember – this is early guidance:
- Schools should plan for contingencies and be flexible
- Schools should have a “Healthy at Work Officer” and communication plan
- Contact tracing procedures, employee training and education
- Calendars should have flexibility for mid-year adjustments
- Schools should prepare for early opening, traditional opening, and late opening
- Prepare for intermittent closures
- Varying attendance and mode of instruction
- Consider alternating attendance policies where students and staff are at school in a rotating fashion and smaller groups are at school at any given time
- Consider an options for opt-in in which parents can opt to send their child to school or receive instruction via live stream
- Potential for a hybrid model or fully online
- Considerations to be made for PPE, social/extracurricular student activities, social distancing (in school and on buses), mental and emotional health, mealtime procedures, restroom and water fountain protocols, additional custodial staff, and more (all questions listed on the document)
- They also list 36 learning considerations (starting on page 7) ranging from topics like consistency in remote learning to equity to teacher training. This list is followed by risk factors to consider and considerations/risk factors for students with exceptional needs
Governor Beshear gives frequent updates during briefings and you do not have to watch them live. All of the briefings are archived on YouTube. Governor Beshear and other state officials are starting to talk about July and soon after that, they will likely talk more and more about back to school in Louisville for fall 2020.
Safety Measures – Southern Indiana
Governor Holdcomb’s briefings are also all on Youtube. Click here for that channel. Also, Indiana has a frequently updated website for resources on the current changes in public education. Click here to access that website.
Safety Measures – Federal
The CDC published a document about opening up and guidelines at the federal level. This document is from May 2020 and is linked here. This is a lengthy document that does not all pertain to schools. Also, it is very much related to the current school year and not necessarily the next school year.
To get to the school information, you go to page 45. It is important to note that this guidance is INTERIM meaning that it is as of May and the information at hand in May and it could totally change – like many things have changed so much since March.
Key items from this document – remember – this is INTERIM and much pertains to the CURRENT school year:
- The recommendations are for communities where the spread of Covid-19 is low and local health officials are confident that the incidence of infection is also low.
- There are steps recommended
- Schools that are closed, remain closed
- Schools that are open, remain open but with enhanced social distancing measures (and this includes virtual learning as being open)
- Remain open with distancing measures (this wording, in my opinion, does not pertain to any of the schools in our area that have closed to in-person instruction
- Teach and reinforce handwashing, use of face coverings for all staff and encouraged for students (when feasible) and with precautions for those with which wearing one would be potentially hazardous
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of share surfaces and objects (between uses), including buses
- Ensure a properly working ventilation system
- Kids and teachers to remain as static as possible – same group with same teacher as much as possible
- No field trips, extracurricular activities
- Seating spaced 6 feet apart or more, not facing each other. Create social distancing on buses.
- Close communal spaces, meals in classrooms, best for kids to bring their own food, disposable items are best
- Stagger arrival and dismissal
- Limit sharing – have more supplies or do not supplies/equipment that has to be highly shared
- All staff should be trained on safety actions
- If possible, conduct daily health screenings
- Have an isolation room for any staff or student who may become sick and establish safety procedures for when people at school become sick. Close off areas where they were so they can be cleaned/disinfected. If possible, wait 24 hours before using that space.
- Staff/children not to come to school is they are sick or suspect they are sick, same with returning to school – they should not return until they follow CDC guidance for returning.
- Monitor school health clinic traffic, school staff, student health information
- “In the event a person diagnosed with COVID-19 is determined to have been in the building and poses a risk to the community, programs may consider closing for a short time (1-2 days) for cleaning and disinfection.” Pg. 48
Also, on the CDC website, they have considerations for schools. These are basically from the document but in a shorter version. The key points are as listed above. Again, none of this is mandated – it’s all considerations. Local health officials and schools will work together with our state officials to decide what will happen for fall 2020.
The only additional items I saw on the website and not the document is the consideration for additional signage and broadcasting announcements about safety measures. And, the installation of sneeze guards in locations where social distancing is difficult and guides on the floors or walls to help with social distancing.
Not everything is listed here on our site, click here for EVERYTHING they list to consider.
Here’s a recent news segment featuring schools from around the world that have went back to school with a variety of new measures in place.
As more countries ease #coronavirus restrictions, many students around the world are returning to classrooms. But there are still concerns over how to keep children safe.@HollyMAWilliams shows us what schools around the world are doing & the potential lessons for this country. pic.twitter.com/koR3aOqVsf
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) May 21, 2020
Not ready to worry about the next school year? We don’t blame you! Here’s a link to all of the summer fun we can find for 2020!