Good afternoon! Over the weekend, we have continued to monitor the rising COVID-19 incident rate in Bullitt County and the growing number of students and staff who are under quarantine orders as a result of being identified as a high-risk exposure to a positive case. We will continue to monitor this data over the next couple of days so that we can make an informed decision regarding any potential return to in-person learning for the week of November 9th.
As I mentioned in previous communications, the district has been preparing to implement a hybrid A/B schedule at the middle and high school levels when conditions warrant a return to in-person learning. The purpose of this communication is to let you know what a hybrid A/B schedule means for your student.
If you have a student in one of our elementary schools this shift will not impact your student at all. When the district or your school is open to in-person learning, your student will continue to report to school five days a week. During periods of remote-learning students will learn from home. Students participating in the Cloud Academy (at all grade levels K-12) will continue learning virtually as they have since the beginning of the year.
The hybrid A/B schedule will affect students in the middle and high schools who have chosen in-person learning as their preferred learning model. These students will be divided into an A group and a B group. During periods when the district is open to in-person learning, students in the A group will report to school on Monday and Tuesday. On those days students in the B group will learn remotely from home. Wednesday will be a virtual learning day for BOTH groups of students. Students in the B group will report to school on Thursday and Friday while students in the A group learn remotely from home on those days. This schedule will be slightly adjusted for weeks when school is in session for less than 5 days (see the calendar below). During periods when the district operates using Remote Learning (as we were last week and are this week) all students will learn remotely from home.
We are committing to the hybrid A/B schedule at the middle and high school levels during periods of in-person learning for the remainder of the fall semester (through January 15th). Depending on the status of the virus, the hybrid schedule could be extended through the end of 3rd nine weeks. We will make that determination towards the end of the first semester. This approach was discussed and explored during the summer months when plans were being developed for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. However, based on feedback we received from our parents, staff, and the community, the decision was made to try and bring all of our students back in-person if at all possible.
The reason we are now implementing this change at the middle and high school level is to reduce the possibility of large-scale quarantines and give us the best opportunity for prolonged periods of in-person learning. Because students at those levels change classes multiple times a day and interact with multiple other groups of students, we must reduce the building and classroom loads to reduce the possibility of large-scale quarantines. The groups are being developed based on household, so if you have multiple students in the same school or a student in high school and a student in middle school, they will be placed in the same A or B group. This week, you will hear from your student’s middle or high school to let you know what group your student has been placed in. Because of the complexities that go into developing these groups, we apologize that we can not accommodate requests to Equal Education and Employment Institution change groups. We know that changes in the middle of a semester can be difficult. But we remain committed to doing whatever we can to give our students and teachers the best opportunity for in-person learning. This hybrid schedule will begin when the district reopens to in-person learning. It may be necessary for the district to continue to utilize remote learning for the week of November 9th depending on our local COVID-19 data. We will communicate a decision about next week as soon as we possibly can.
Our student learning team has worked with our secondary school administrative teams to develop a framework to support teachers in creating equitable learning opportunities for all students utilizing the hybrid model. Remote learning strategies through Google Classroom will continue to be utilized to assist with planning and delivering instruction, allowing our teachers and families to experience high-quality learning activities despite the pandemic.
I very much appreciate the support of the Bullitt County Community. Thank you for your understanding, patience, grace, and continued support.
Jesse Bacon, Ed.D.