School in-class instruction pushed back to August 17

Posted July 29, 2020 at 11:38 am

The Clinton County School District is getting ready to welcome students back in to the facilities on August 17 and part of that preparation involves COVID-19 testing. On Monday, teachers, staff and other employees of the school system, as well as the general public, had the chance to get tested for the coronavirus. According to Superintendent Tim Parson, he did not make the test mandatory for school personnel or students.

“It was recommended to have as many staff/students as were willing to be tested prior to school starting. The reason to do it a little over two weeks before school starts was so that any positive cases could quarantine and still be ready to start school. Healthcare providers recommended we mandate the test, but I didn’t think that was reasonable and wanted to leave it up to our staff whether or not they wanted to test,” Parson said.

Clinton County has seen a spike in the number of cases during the past two weeks and with the growing number of cases across the state, local numbers are likely to rise as well.

Clinton County Schools’ in-classroom startup date has been pushed back three days to a Monday, August 17 start, later than the originally planned Wednesday, August 12 starting date.

The later date to get in-classroom instruction underway, is an answer to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

That word came Tuesday morning of this week from Clinton County Schools Superintendent Tim Parson, who told the Clinton County News about the change in a text message.

The decision on the new August 17 start date came after a Tuesday morning meeting between Parson and the District Leadership Council.

That decision on the new start date also means that Clinton County Schools will be getting in the classroom the same week that was recommended this week by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear when he announced new restrictions.

Gov. Beshear, in announcing new restrictions and suggestions he was putting into place in an effort to curb the increase of new cases being encountered daily in Kentucky, said on Monday he was suggesting and asking all public and private schools in the state to delay in-class instruction until the third week of August.

A parent survey had been conducted online by the school district with several hundred responses being received. The majority of those responding seemed to favor students returning to face-to-face classroom instruction of some type.

The local school district has also published a “Clinton County Schools Reopening Plan–Two Phase Response” for the 2020-21 school year that spells out plans, goals and safety precautions to be used to reopen schools in the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan, which again is subject to change depending on the situation at the proposed date to begin, is reviewed in its entirety below:

Two Phase Response for Reopening Schools:

* First day for students, August 12.

* Community Reopening Team, District Reopening Team, Collaboration with several entities including: LCDHD, Healthy Kids Clinic, KDE, Department of Public Health.

* All local decisions made in collaboration with Lake Cumberland District Health Department.

* At any point due to an outbreak, classrooms, grades, school(s) or the school district may resort to online learning from home for a period of two weeks or longer.

* Google Classroom platform for grades K-12.

* 1-1 student Chromebooks: All students will be issued a Chromebook.

* Virtual learning platform will be an option and considered on a case by case basis.

* Virtual learning platform will be a semester/yearlong decision.

* Student meals will be available at all phases.

* Level 1: Schools open/face-to-face classes:

* Hand sanitizer located throughout schools, classrooms, buses.

* Periodic hand washing/sanitizing times throughout the school day.

* Constant education about healthy hygiene practices.

* Intensified cleaning and disinfection efforts.

* Temperature checks for all students and staff: On bus or at drop off location at school for students (100.4 or over send home.)

* Adults must wear masks when social distancing cannot occur.

* Students wear masks on bus and coming and going from school, during transitions, but not during class during the day (must maintain six foot distancing if not masked.)

* Cohort families of students.

* Teachers may or may not rotate, instruction may be virtual.

* Arrival and dismissal times to be staggered.

* Students eat breakfast/lunch in classrooms, occasionally in cafe.

* Common areas closed off to students.

* Lockers will not be used.

* Nonessential visitors cancelled.

* Social distancing will apply to all operations throughout the school day.

Level 2: Schools closed/virtual classes:

* Entire classrooms, grades, school(s) or school district doing online learning from home for a period of two weeks or longer.

* All after school activities/extra curricular(s) will be cancelled.

* Food delivery and drive through meals initiated.


* Masks are available for the possibility they are needed. You are not required to wear a mask during athletic activity. Your coaches will communicate ahead of time if they are required.

* You will need to have an updated physical for the 2020-21 season. Talk with your coach, or athletic director, as to when your current physical expires.

* Bring your own hydration with you. Water fountains will not be accessible during this time.

* Hand sanitizer will be provided to you at your workouts. Use often and as needed.

* Socially distance as much as possible during workouts; Coaches will guide you on what is acceptable and what is not during phases of return to athletics.

* More information will be provided as it is passed down through KHSAA Board of Control.

* Coaches, officials and other personnel may wear cloth face coverings at all times and are strongly encouraged to wear cloth face coverings, especially whenever physical distancing is not possible.

Food Service:

* The Food Service will be providing both a breakfast and lunch to all students at no cost again this school year.

* Breakfast shall be provided to students either as grab and go (upon student arrival at school), in the classroom, or in other settings determined by the building administrators.

* Lunch will be provided to students in the classroom or in other settings determined by the building administrators.

* Both breakfast and lunch will be available for virtual students to pick up at their home school. Both meals will be provided at the same time (lunch for the given day of pick up and breakfast for the following morning). Please be sure to practice food safety once you have taken the food into your possession. Parents and/or students may pick up the meals, but must provide kitchen staff with either the student’s name or school student ID number.

* No a la carte items will be offered at this time.

* Our number one goal is to provide all of our students with healthy, nutritious meals.

* Six foot social distancing will be maintained.

* Food will not be self-serve.

* If using cafeteria, all students must face the same direction.


* School counselor will be doing weekly lesson with all students on Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

* Implementing morning and afternoon meetings with cohort groups.

* Stretches/mindfulness exercises throughout the day.

* Brain breaks/movement breaks.

* Social emotional learning lessons for all students.

Students with special needs:

* State and federal guidelines will be followed.

* Tele-assessments will be utilized as best as possible if needed (depending on NTI, school closure and medically fragile condition of the student.)

* Face shields, masks and sneeze guards for therapist/evaluators will be used when working with students.

* SP/OT/PT will conduct virtual sessions as much as possible.

* PT will request student wear face masks when working closely with them.

* Exceptional education classes will follow the same protocol as general education cohorts to maximum extent possible with social distancing. 1:1, small group in resource rooms with social distancing guidelines and masks as necessary.

* Teleconferences and Zoom will be utilized as much as possible with parent consent for ARC meetings. However, if an in-person meeting must occur, a minimum number of people will participate in a socially distanced setting. Participants will be notified per guidelines of exceptional education meetings.

* IEP goals will be implemented and assessed through Google Classroom for students who chose virtual learning; same for all special ed students if NTI occurs.

*Assistive technology will continue to be used for students who need it.

* Referrals will continue to be conducted by in class data, observations, and Google Classroom data.

* Additional ARC’s may need to occur if needs arise.

* SEL-referred to school and mental health counselor and goals will be implemented as needs arise.


* All students will be provided a Chromebook, regardless of the option they choose (face to face instruction or virtual learning.)

* Google Classroom will be the learning platform for grades K-12.

* Internet access is required for students to choose the virtual option.

* Parents/students will sign a form regarding expectations for Chromebook use, as well as a virtual learning contract.


* Bus drivers’ and monitors’ temperatures will be taken before they start the route. If it is above 100.4 a replacement will be found.

* All bus drivers and monitors will wear a mask when students are on the bus.

* Each students’ temperature will be taken as the student boards the bus in the morning. If a student’s temperature is above 100.4 the student will be sent back to the home.

* Grades one through 12 students shall wear a mask to the extent possible. Exceptions may be granted on a case by case basis when wearing a face mask would compromise the health and safety of a student.

* If the student does not have a mask, one can be provided.

* Hand sanitizer will be available on the bus.

* Family members will sit together.

* Students will remain seated when loading/unloading other students.

* Buses will be cleaned and sanitized daily after each route.

Virtual guidelines:

* Virtual learning will not be a reduced amount of work like parents/students are used to when it comes to Cyber days. It will be exactly the same amount of work as being in school.

* We strongly encourage students in 2nd grade and below to come to school for face to face interaction.

*All students will be given a Chromebook, whether choosing virtual or face to face learning.

* Virtual students must have access to the internet.

*Parents/students will utilize the following methods for communication with teachers: Google Classroom message box, email, school phone call during teacher planning time.

* Teachers will not use cell phones or social media to communicate with patents/students.

* Teachers will respond to questions within 24 hours.

* Teachers will be checking Google Classroom daily for student work, messages, completed assignments, etc.

* Virtual students will be expected to complete assignments on the same timeline as students participating in face to face classes.

* Parents should be looking at Infinite Campus Parent Portal for updates on student progress.

* Teachers will update grades weekly in Infinite Campus.

* K-2 students will receive monthly progress reports, as well as Google Classroom feedback weekly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

* Question: Are face shields allowed instead of masks? Answer: Face shields are only acceptable if masks cannot be worn for health reasons. Science shows that face shields aren’t as effective as masks, but are better than no face covering. They are considered second best, at best.

* Question: What type of masks are allowed? Answer: Cloth, surgical, neck gaiters, bandanas, N95, KN95…basically any type of cloth-type material that covers the mouth and nose area. If you have specific questions about masks not addressed on this document, contact your student’s school.

* Question: Will the school district provide a mask for a child? Answer: We will have disposable, surgical masks available. We encourage students to bring their own masks each day. Cloth masks can be laundered and reused and will last much longer.

* Question: Do we need to have a doctor’s statement if they can’t wear a mask? Answer: Yes. It will help with documentation and ensuring that everyone is treated fairly. Evidence of a pre-existing condition should suffice.

* Question: If my child’s glasses steam up, do they have to wear the mask? Answer: Yes. You can twist the mask by the strings to make a tighter fit across the nose so glasses do not steam up.

The aforementioned plan is subject to change, depending on the COVID-19 situation prior to the proposed start of the new school year.