As of Sept. 23: FCPS still gathering COVID-19 information before next move
Fayette County Public Schools has been working closely with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department to monitor community spread of COVID-19 with the goal of returning to in-person learning. Schools have been hammering out specific plans to bring smaller groups of students back to campus with a hybrid model that alternates cohorts of students between online and in-person learning. As outlined in the district’s Reenvisioning, Reimagining, and Renewing plan, the Fayette County Board of Education was scheduled to reassess public health conditions and make a determination Sept. 28 about which instructional model is appropriate for the next six weeks.
In a conversation with the health department Sept. 21, district leaders learned about a lag in data entry causing the state’s “COVID-19 Current Incidence Rate” map to reflect fewer cases than the community had actually been experiencing. Since then, FCPS has talked with state and local health officials to determine the implications for this school district if Fayette County were to be in the red.
FCPS learned on Sept. 22, like the rest of the state, that Fayette County had officially received a “red” rating. The understanding is that the increase in the incident rate is directly linked to cases among University of Kentucky students. FCPS has made contact with UK officials to learn more about whether those cases are within an isolated UK cohort or indicative of a wider community spread.
At this time, FCPS is still gathering information. It is critical that decisions be grounded in facts and not be swayed by speculation or political posturing. Every decision will be with the safety of students, staff, and families in mind. The school board will hold a special called meeting on Sept. 25 to hear more from public health experts to better inform the district’s next steps.
(Posted Sept. 23, 2020)