Scott County students have spent their last day in a traditional classroom for the 2019-20 school year.
That decision was made Monday when Gov. Andy Beshear recommended all Kentucky schools remain closed for in-person instructions for the rest of the current school year due to the COVID-19 virus. Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) will continue through May 15.
Beshear made the recommendation Monday during a conference call with all school superintendents. Almost immediately following, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association officially cancelled all spring sporting events, including the Sweet 16 basketball tournament. Previously KHSAA had “suspended” the events.
The decision to cancel in-person classes creates many other issues, including how much weight NTI instruction should be given as well as what happens to many senior-focused events including graduation. Currently, Kentucky is under executive orders to avoid any gatherings of 10 or more people which has already cost many school-related events.
“I can assure everyone, we will have some sort of graduation event,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub. “Student leaders and administrators are meeting to come up with a plan, but I promise that myself, the school board, the school administrators and the community all want to do something for the seniors.
“It may be a parade through town, but we will have something for our seniors.”
Scott County High School has about 350 graduating seniors while Great Crossing High School has about 210. The 2020 GCHS class will be its inaugural graduating senior class.
Social Media posts are filled with parents and relatives of high school seniors lamenting the loss of a senior year which is filled with traditional events.
Beshear noted the loss during one of his daily news briefs.
“It’s not fair … a worldwide pandemic has bit us and those of you who are missing out on these opportunities, we need your help and we need your sacrifice,” said the governor. “Your willingness to do it is going to save lives.”
He asked students and school systems to be creative suggesting virtual or drive-in services.
This week an “Adopt a Senior (Georgetown) Scott County Class of 2020 Facebook page was launched and at press time included 1,145 members. The Facebook page asks that seniors be “adopted,” to show the community’s support. Parents are asked to post photos and biographies while members of the community are requested to “adopt” and to “bless” the student anyway possible within their means.
The News-Graphic is seeking senior photos, including photos of students in prom dress and athletic gear, for a Senior Yearbook special section. Those photos can be emailed to email@example.com. Please include name and school attended.
The state Department of Education said in a post schools will continue NTI in order to reach 1,062 instructional hours. Typically, NTI is designed for short-term absences due to weather-related events, so administrators and teachers throughout the state are discussing how much weight NTI instruction should be on grades. The discussions are tempered by the lack of Internet-access and other variables many students face.
Mike Scogin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.