Boone County Schools announced plans to adjust its instructional model to include more in-person instruction by combining its A and B hybrid groups starting later this month.
The district will communicate with parents and employees the status of their instructional model for the following week on Oct. 22, with a planned start date of Oct. 29.
Superintendent Matthew Turner said the decision will factor in local and regional COVID-19 data as well as the school closure criteria listed on the district's online COVID-19 dashboard.
"Arriving at this difficult decision was certainly a complex challenge as everyone wants to be safe and everyone values the effectiveness of in-person instruction. As educators, our greatest priority is our students' overall mental health and their overall academic progress," Turner wrote in a letter to families on Wednesday.
Turner said the level of in-person instruction also depends on schools' continued ability to follow state guidelines and safety protocols, which include wearing face masks, enforcing physical distancing, hand washing and contact tracing with school and local health officials.
"Our goal is to keep our students and staff safe and our schools open; and ultimately providing more in-person instruction for our students. To accomplish this, we will need your help in many forms, so please contact your school to find a way to assist or watch for school messages seeking your help," Turner wrote.
According to the district's COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 52 positive cases to date in Boone County Schools. The district has about 21,000 students with roughly 15,000 learning in-person.
The Northern Kentucky Health Department reports 418 active COVID-19 cases across Boone County as of Wednesday and reports that nearly 1,300 people have recovered from the virus there.
For more information on the district's learning plans amid the pandemic, click here.