Since receiving Governor Beshear’s recommendation that the start of “at-school” learning be delayed until September 28, I have been in conversation with local health department officials to review our “Healthy at School” plan and obtain updated local COVID-19 data for Paducah and Western Kentucky. I have also been talking with statewide educational leaders and other superintendents. My goal in these discussions has been to gather information for a recommendation on a school reopening plan that is best for our children. I will present my findings to the Paducah Board of Education at our meeting on Monday, August 17. At the end of our meeting, we will have a decision on our reopening plan. We will announce the specifics of our reopening plan by Wednesday, August 19.
Dr. Carl LeBuhn and I have a scheduled call prior to Monday’s board meeting with Kentucky Department of Education interim commissioner Kevin Brown and Kentucky Board of Education chair Lu Young to discuss our reopening plans.
Additionally, Chad Jezik (Districtwide Operations), Troy Brock (Director of Pupil Personnel, which encompasses Health and Safety), and Purchase Area Health Department Environmental Health Program Manager Joel Barrett will review the sanitation plan and “Healthy at School” processes for each school on Monday with our principals. Our district has received a checklist for reopening schools from the Purchase District Health Department that we are working through to ensure the safety of every child and employee.
As of August 13, 95% of our parents have chosen either at-home or at-school instruction. Current data shows that 50% will be in school and 50% at home.
After reviewing our kindergarten through 8th grade numbers, the largest K-8 classroom size at this time will have a 15:1 student to teacher ratio. Currently our student to teacher ratio proportions range from 6:1 as the smallest to the 15:1 ratio in one grade level. As we go into next week, we will continue to work through our numbers at Tilghman due to having multi-grade level classes at our high school (for example, 9-12 graders taking a choir class).
Parents, I know that you are anxious to have a decision so you can make plans for the school year. I appreciate the patience and support that you have shown as we have worked together to figure out how to best meet the needs of our students.
Donald Shively, EdD.