Under the new Senate Bill 128, Scott County Schools has announced its plans incorporate a supplemental school year program for high school students.
The bill allows students K-12 students enrolled in public or non-public schools to request to use the 2021-2022 school year as a supplemental year. The program was established to allow students to retake or supplement courses or grades due to learning loss resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The plans for Scott County were announced at Thursday night’s Board of Education meeting by Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub.
Students in K-8 who request a supplemental year will retake the grade completed during the 2020-2021 school year. However, high school students in grades 9-11 can request a supplemental year to retake courses or take additional courses.
“We’re going to take the approach of just providing as much flexibility for students as we can,” Hub said. “Now this is going to cost the district some money, but I’m not worried about the money, I’m worried about the kids. There are lots of kids that can benefit from five years.”
In a typical year, students can take 24 courses during high school. However, the supplemental year will allow them to take up to 30 courses before they graduate.
“Instead of 24 opportunities to graduate, they can now have 30 opportunities,” Hub said.
While it is beneficial for those struggling academically, Hub also said it’s good for those students who wish to take more courses in order to broaden their education or make up for lost time in their extracurricular activities.
“If there’s any kids that need a successful pathway, it’s those kids (struggling academically),” he said. “But on the other end of the spectrum, our (advanced placement) and fine arts kids. They could explore a second or third language, a fifth or sixth math class, they would never do that before. Who cares why a child or a family wants them to come back? There’s really nothing that a child can want to do that we can’t accommodate.”
Students in 12th grade who met the minimum graduation requirements will still receive their diploma and graduate in May. However, SB128 allows them to request a supplemental year, which gives them the option to return to school next year and take a full load of courses after they have graduated.
“The credits they take do not count for increased or decreased GPA, they don’t count for class standing, it’s only added to transcripts for informational purposes,” Hub said.
Graduated seniors who return and wish to take postsecondary coursework during the 2021-2022 year are not eligible for the dual credit scholarships.
Hub said there was some confrontation with higher-ups on the program because it was not created for this use, however, he wanted to move forward regardless.
“Supplemental means to add to,” he said. “We’re not breaking any laws. At the bottom of the KDE (Kentucky Department of Education) guidance, it says the definition of supplement is determined by the board.”
To request a supplemental school year, complete a Google form linked on the Scott County Schools website at https://www.scott.k12.ky.us.
Scott County Schools also announced that virtual learning would continue to be an option for the 2021-2022 academic year, but not without some changes. The intention is to provide the option for those students who have demonstrated an ability to thrive in a virtual learning environment, the board said.
The requirements state that students must have internet access and provide their own device, must earn passing grades and have no truancy issues during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Students must maintain a 95 percent attendance rate and attend all live sessions via Zoom or they will be counted as absent. Students in middle and high school must maintain a C or better in all classes, while elementary students must show progress toward mastery of standards, according to the SCS website.
Middle School students will utilize the Summer Learning Program, while high school students will have daily synchronous learning for each scheduled course, according to the SCS website. Specific courses will be determined by Great Crossing High School and Scott County High School.
However, no virtual option will be available to Elkhorn Crossing School and all students will be required to attend in person. The Phoenix Horizon Community will continue a similar program to its current one.
According to the SCS website, virtual students can only change from virtual to in person instruction at the end of the 18-week grading period. These students are still permitted to participate in athletics, extracurricular activities and after-school events at their enrolled school.
Schools will be in contact with families with details on the application process. If interested, a form sent by the school must be completed. Forms are due by 4 p.m. April 30. Forms can be found on the SCS website at https://www.scott.k12.ky.us.
Other actions taken by the school board include:
— Approved BG-1 revision for new Scott County High School.
— Approved application of waiver of Kentucky Administrative Regulation - Virtual School.
— Approved the creation of one six-hour intervention aide position at Anne Mason Elementary for 2021-2022.
— Approved the creation of one 20-hour per week classified aide position for Eastern Elementary School for 2021-2022.
— Approved the creation of one custodial position for the Great Crossing High School Athletics Complex.
— Approved temporary summer work positions.
— Approved changes to authorized signors on School Activity Accounts.
— Approved transportation agreement with Georgetown College men and women’s basketball camps.
— Approved contract services with Hands on Therapy for related services therapies for the 2021-2022 school year.
— Approved FRYSC district assurance.
— Approved transportation agreement between Scott County Board of Education and Bright Horizons Children’s Center, LLC.
— Approved 2021 financial audit contract.
— Approved bond of depository 2021-2022.
— Declared items as surplus.
— Approved current bills.
Kyle Woosley can be reached at email@example.com.