COVID-19 Schools … Opening date pushed back again to April 20

Posted March 24, 2020 at 2:00 pm


Clinton County Schools had been closed for less than a week when Superintendent Dr. Tim Parson closed school for an additional two weeks on the recommendation of Governor Andy Beshear.

Now, Clinton County will remain out of school until April 20, 2020.

Parson made the announcement on Friday, March 20, but had made an announcement on Wednesday, March 18, to close school until April 10. Two days later it was pushed to April 20.

“As the number of cases continue to grow, we think it’s inevitable that there will be cases here in Albany,” Parson said. “It’s all around us.”

According to Parson, the district was on a conference call with Governor Beshear and he asked all the districts to close schools until at least April 20, so on his recommendation, Parson said that was the reason for the extended cancellation of school.

Starting this week, the meals will not be delivered house to house like all last week. Instead, there are several sites those meals will be delivered to and people can drive to those sites to pick those meals up each day.

“All the recommendation as far as how they define the high risk category, of people who contract it (60 and over) at least half of our bus driving fleet are 60 and over,” Parson said. “They haven’t complained and they have been great. As time goes on, and when I think about myself and our district leadership folks about the inevitability of it being in our town, the more reservations I have about asking people to expose themselves to something that might make them sick. I just don’t want that monkey on my back.”

Parson said by moving to the site pick up, less staff can be involved and that can limit the number of people involved in daily contact.

“I’ve told people who were high risk to stay home and work from home,” Parson said. “We have worked it out to where they can work from home and as long as we are still getting state funding. Even if they aren’t high risk, we’ve worked it out to where they can work from home. As long as we can continue to count these as instructional days, and right now we can do that, then our funding continues to come. We are able to work through it and make sure all our people continue to get paid.”

Parson believes scaling back the food service plan could even go farther if it had to, by just having only one location for food pickup instead of the nine scheduled drop offs now.

“We might just have to say go pick up your meals at the high school. We hate to do that because we know there are kids who don’t have access to that, at the same time you try to walk the best line that you can,” Parson said. “Running the buses wide open as it’s inevitable someone here is going to get it and it’s going to start spreading, I just don’t feel comfortable doing it, but at the same time, just stopping it or not offering food doesn’t seem quite right either. We are trying to find a middle ground for it.”

Parson said school officials have been meeting every couple of days to discuss where the district is in terms of doing things to keep employees and students safe during this time.

“We try to keep looking ahead,” Parson said. “You can’t predict how much this is going to spread. It’s changing by the day and who knows where this thing is going to end up.”

During the first week school was dismissed, Parson said the meal count went up each day and he thinks that’s a good thing.

“The first day it seemed like it was 450 or 460,” Parson said. “The second day it went up to 500 and the third day it went up to 600 and it keeps growing.”

During this time of need, Parson said he is more than thrilled with the teachers and staff within the Clinton County School District.

“They’ve been unbelievable,” Parson said. “I’m just inspired really by our people. They have answered the bell and they have already went the extra mile. We recognize during times like these that people are scared and kind of uncertain and it’s important for people to see, especially our kids, to see us … to see our faces and to see that it’s not over and all is not lost, so we try to make an extra effort to be seen.”

Parson said he believes if this crisis is handled the proper way, the school system can use this to build a better relationship with the students and the parents.

“I think we can come out on the other side of it strong and better,” Parson said. “I think with good leadership we can make things better. It’s an opportunity for parents to see that these teachers do care about their kids.”


Cafeteria workers at Early Childhood Center worked Monday morning to prepare 400 meals that were to be picked up between 11 and 12:30.

The first week school was dismissed, more than 2,500 meals were delivered to students. Parents or guardians can pick up meals at the back of ECC between the hours of 11-12:30 each day or meals can be picked up at one of nine different locations in Albany. Those times and locations are listed within this week’s edition.

Below, Pam Conner handed out food at the Early Childhood Center on Monday during the lunch hour to those who chose to pick up their meals. Others, who chose to visit one of nine different sites, were handed meals from a bus at different times throughout the morning. Those times and schedules are listed within this week’s edition.