To no one’s surprise 73 percent of the 8,000 parents responding to a Scott County Schools (SCS) survey want in-person classes to be held this fall.
The school system surveyed parents following the release by Kentucky education officials of safety protocols in order for school to start this fall., Those protocols include wearing masks by students and staff when they cannot maintain social distance at school and on the bus. Temperature checks will be done upon entry and parents must sign an assessment of students that they will monitor students for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to the start of the school day.
Some 5,600 parents indicated they wanted in-person classes to be held following almost two-and-a-half consecutive months at the end of the last school year when students studied from home via Non-traditional Instruction Days and other virtual classes.
“If we can make in-person educating work we need to do everything in our power to do so,” responded one parent to the survey. The interruption of work schedules was a major reason for in-person classes to be held.
Of the remaining 27 percent, or about 2,400 parents indicated they most likely would not send their child to school in the fall because of COVID-19 fears, opting instead for virtual instruction.
Some 70 percent of the parents said they would provide masks for their child, but 23 percent said providing masks was the school’s responsibility. Almost all parents — 98 percent, reported they were aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
The survey also found the number of students who would be riding a bus to school will be down about six percent because of COVID-19 concerns.
The survey sought questions and concerns from parents about the fall session of school and many parents shared concerns about wearing masks and whether having students wear masks for extended periods of time was practical. Some parents questioned what would happen if a student refused to wear a mask.
Parents also said they wanted more information about reopening plans prior to school starting.
“The new school day will look different from the past,” said Renee Holmes, SCS community education director. “We are working through a variety of considerations to ensure the safety of our schools for both students and staff. Individual school plans will be communicated to all stakeholders and will outline safety protocols you can expect through the school day.
“One consideration in the plans will be re-configuring classrooms to ensure social distancing which will limit the time students have to wear masks. Another component will be the use of alternative spaces for those who become ill and those who do not comply with guidelines. Schools will share specific details regarding temperature checks, cleaning schedules, hand washing and sanitizing stations, visitor guidelines, hot and cold meal service and student transportation soon.”
Mike Scogin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.