FORT THOMAS, Ky. — Ashley Barlow has to juggle a lot – with two kids, two businesses and the need to keep everyone in her family safe, she admits it’s not easy even without a worldwide pandemic. She said she knows firsthand: “Kids move and germs spread.”
Barlow, who lives in Fort Thomas, decided to keep her kids home long before Gov. Andy Beshear urged all schools start with distance learning and delay in-person schooling until Sept. 28.
In a message home to families Monday, Fort Thomas Independent Schools said they would push the first day of class back to Aug. 31 and go remote instead of a hybrid model after learning of the governor’s recommendation.
“Our district in particular was going to do five days a week in person, and they were only going to require masks if children were moving around in the school,” Barlow said.
Barlow has an eighth-grader at Highlands and a fourth-grader at Ruth Moyer Elementary. Her youngest has special needs.
“We probably wouldn’t send him back until he’s vaccinated, but we do see that ... our older child, who has typical needs and is a typical learner, is able to condition himself to distance,” she said.
Beshear wants schools to begin in-person learning no sooner than Sept. 28, but that choice is still up to districts and local superintendents.
“The concept that we would try to resume in-person classes at our peak instead of during a decline is something that would defy logic and wouldn’t be safe to do,” Beshear said at his daily COVID-19 press conference Monday.
He added that bringing students back to school now would only send schools into a series of fits and starts that would make things worse.
“I have to make a recommendation that gives us a real chance of success, that you don’t send your kids to school for three days, school shuts down, it takes another week and a half to get distance learning up, you do distance learning for a certain period of time, never knowing when you might get back to in-person classes," Beshear said.
Barlow, who also provides special education support to families in need, encouraged parents to reach out to their school about the critical support they may need until in-person learning is an option.
Other Northern Kentucky school districts may also change their plans, including Kenton County Schools. School leaders tweeted Monday that they would review their plans in light of the governor's recommendation.
The Kenton County School District is aware of Governor Beshear’s recommendation. We will review and release more information regarding the impacts on instruction as soon as possible.— KCSD (@TheKCSD) August 10, 2020
For more information on Northern Kentucky districts and their back-to-school plans, see the following links for: