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Western Kentucky Schools Begin To Announce Reopening Plans

calloway_county_high_school.jpg
via Calloway County High School Facebook
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Western Kentucky school districts are beginning to announce their coronavirus-related reopening plans for the 2021-2022 school year.

Most districts have decided not to require face masks for students or staff but will ask parents to screen their children for COVID-19 before sending them to school.

In most cases, students who contract or are exposed to the virus will be required to quarantine after testing positive.

Ballard County Schools

Ballard County Schools will reopen on Aug. 10 but will maintain a virtual option for students who are at high risk of contracting the virus.

Face masks will be required for all students on school buses, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, but not in school buildings.

Schools will require students to stay 3 feet apart when possible, and they may limit visitors. Cleaning and disinfection will adhere to Kentucky Department of Education and Kentucky Department of Public Health guidelines.

Ballard County Schools will collaborate with the Purchase District Health Department to isolate students who have COVID-19 symptoms. Vaccinated students won’t be required to quarantine unless they are symptomatic.

Calloway County Schools

Calloway County Schools will resume in-person instruction on Aug. 16. Virtual classes will only be offered to alternative education students and those who need to make up credits.

Students won’t be required to wear face masks but school officials say masks will still be “strongly encouraged.” Schools will require students to social distance where possible, like in classrooms and common areas, and students will be encouraged to practice good personal hygiene.

Like other school systems, Calloway County Schools asks parents to screen students before sending them to schools and will quarantine those who contract or are exposed to the virus.

School officials say they may change plans based on community health data and state and local requirements.

Christian County Public Schools

Christian County Public Schools will start the school year on Aug. 11 with in-person instruction and a virtual option for students in the fourth through 12th grades.

Face masks are recommended but not required for students and staff, both on buses and in classrooms. Teachers and administrators will require individual students to wear masks at their parents’ request.

Schools will require students to stay three to six feet apart when possible and personal protective equipment will be provided to students and staff as necessary.

The district will encourage students and staff to get vaccinated and will offer vaccine clinics with Wild Health and the Christian County Health Department.

Officials say the reopening plan may be amended to align with guidance from health officials, Jennie Stuart Medical Center and local pediatricians.

Marshall County School District

Marshall County Schools will resume in-person instruction on Aug. 5 and will offer a virtual option for students who maintained at least a B average last year or received a medical exemption.

According to the district’s plan, officials will “consider” recommending—but not requiring—face masks unless there is a local, state or federal mandate for students to mask up. Students are required to comply with state and local guidelines if they contract COVID-19.

Students will have assigned seating on buses to enable social distancing and contact tracing, and windows will be lowered for ventilation as weather permits.

If the pandemic forces schools to stop in-person instruction again, Marshall County School District will provide meals to students through pick up or delivery.

McCracken County Public Schools

McCracken County Public Schools will start on Aug. 5. Most students will resume in-person instruction but those who have a high risk of contracting COVID-19, or live with someone who does, may participate in virtual learning with a doctor’s approval.

Students, parents and staff will not be required to wear face masks on school property, but school officials will recommend unvaccinated people to wear face masks indoors. Face masks will be required on buses.

Students with a body temperature at or above 100.4 degrees will not be permitted to enter school buildings. Students may return to school after they have proven asymptomatic for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.

McCracken County Public Schools will limit school visitors to “essential personnel and essential direct access providers/vendors.”

The plan is subject to change based on community health data and guidance from state and federal officials.

Trigg County Public Schools

Trigg County Public Schools will resume in-person instruction on Aug. 11 and virtual instruction will only be offered for high schoolers who meet certain criteria.

Students and staff will not be required to wear face masks in school buildings. Students, bus drivers and staff will be required to wear face masks on buses and students will sit in assigned seats by family households. Buses will be regularly sanitized.

Transitions between classes will be limited to reduce the number of contacts, and essential visitors will only be allowed by appointment. Non-essential deliveries to school buildings will not be permitted. Students will have assigned seating in all locations.

This plan is subject to change based on guidance from state officials.

Dustin Wilcox is a television production student at Murray State University. He graduated from Hopkinsville High School in 2019.
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