WILLIAMSBURG—Students in the Williamsburg School District will start classes on August 26 and families will have two options for instruction this fall.

Williamsburg Superintendent Tim Melton said the 2020-2021 school year will have in-seat class five days a week that follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Kentucky Department of Education and local health department guidelines. Williamsburg will also offer a digital learning platform for families that do not feel comfortable sending their child to school.

When asked what were some of the concerns he and his staff were hearing, he said families want some consistency with instruction and they are worried about what information their child has missed during the time off in the spring.

“Families are concerned about child care and what they are going to do if their child is not going to school,” said Melton. “Families are concerned about the unknown of the year and what long term effects will it have on their child.”

In a survey that ran from June 15-30 this is how parents and guardians responded: 50 percent of those surveyed liked in-seat classes, 25 percent of those surveyed liked a hybrid model and 25 percent of those surveyed liked a digital model.

Students that choose digital learning will need to have reliable internet access, and they will be provided with a district Chromebook to use, according to the district's Facebook page. Students will be responsible for communicating with their teachers and submitting assignments in a timely manner. In the case of intermittent closures during the school year. The schools will issue a district Chromebook to every student kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Students who are learning in-seat will have the opportunity to opt out of in-seat instruction at any time the family feels there is a health risk in our community. However, students who are virtual will not be able to opt into in-seat instruction until the beginning of a new six-week term.

The dates that digital students may return to in-seat instruction are as follows: Tuesday, October 6; Wednesday, November 18; Tuesday, January 19; Monday, March 1; and Thursday, April 15.

Families will need to communicate with the school prior to the student returning to in-seat instruction. In-seat students who are asked to quarantine by the health department will be allowed to return to in-seat classes after their quarantine period.

The district is working closely with health officials to make sure students are safe when they return.

Students will have their temperature checked each day and students first grade and up as well as staff will wear a mask. Melton said classrooms will be spaced out to abide by the 6 feet guidelines and class sizes will be smaller.

Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classroom and there will be extra breaks put in the schedule during the day.

Cleaning and disinfecting will be scheduled throughout the day and also each night. Filters in the school’s AC units are changed monthly to help with the air quality of the building.

Students who ride on a bus will need to wear a mask when age appropriate and the buses will be disinfected after each bus run.

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