FCPS deems targeted services a success, plans to wind down before Thanksgiving
Since Oct. 19, Fayette County Public Schools has provided targeted services for small groups of students at elementary, middle, and high schools and special programs. Even though the Lexington community has been in the state’s red designation for incidence rates since Oct. 28, FCPS has continued to serve close to 4,000 students each week. Targeted services are allowed under the state guidelines “at school discretion” when a community is red.
“We have had tremendous success, and credit our instructional and support staff at every level for all they have done to coordinate these offerings as well as our families for your support and flexibility,” said Superintendent Manny Caulk.
While cases of COVID-19 have risen in Fayette County, and there have been cases among students and staff who participated in the on-campus services, there has been no transmission between students or between students and staff, and those isolated cases have not interrupted services districtwide.
“Looking ahead, we recognize that Thanksgiving is one of the biggest family holidays of the year,” Caulk said, encouraging everyone to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following the recommendations from Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Public Health. “We have to anticipate the likelihood that families will travel or gather and unfortunately, we know those activities could drive community spread,” he said. “Ideally, we would want to pause targeted services for 14 days after Thanksgiving break to mitigate the risk and give people time to quarantine after potential exposure.”
Noting that would have the district restarting targeted services during the last week of school before winter break, when classes are wrapping up and exams have begun, Caulk said, “We have made the decision to begin winding down targeted services before the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Each school sets its own schedule, but across the district, the last day for targeted services will likely be on or before Nov. 20. Teaching and learning through NTI/2DL will continue until the last day of school before winter break, Dec. 18. Some limited special education services may also continue.
When school starts again in January, FCPS plans to have students whose families selected in-person instruction back on campus, while students whose families selected remote instruction will learn virtually. If Fayette County’s incidence rates are in the red closer to January, then in-person learning could start as NTI/2DL until cases decrease. In that instance, FCPS could offer targeted services again because that is allowed for communities in the red. If Fayette County is green, yellow, or orange, students will be back in school.
(Posted Nov. 12, 2020)