JCPS lays out its next steps to returning to the classroom


Dr. Marty Pollio explains how he plans for students to return to in-person school. Screenshot from the live conference from EP Presnell.

EP Presnell


On Friday, Sept. 25, Dr. Marty Pollio held a conference via live stream stating that he will recommend continuing NTI through the end of Oct., but the district has a plan to return to in-person school. 

After opening the conference by thanking parents for working with the challenges presented by online instruction, he stated that according to the guidelines released by Governor Beshear, JCPS is in the orange phase. 

The suggestions made by Beshear include four color phases (green, yellow, orange and red), which detail what counties should do based on the number of COVID-19 cases in their county. 

Currently, JCPS has 16.4 cases per 100,000 people, placing us in the orange phase which recommends online instruction. To consider in-person school, JCPS needs to be in the yellow phase which would require at the maximum, 9 cases per 100,000 people. 

“I know how tough this has been, I really do,” Pollio said. 

Due to the current COVID cases in the county, Pollio announced he would recommend the district continue distanced learning until the end of Oct., but will not commit to another six weeks. When he recommends continuing online school, he will also lay out the plans for returning to school to the board. 

The current plan is to have elementary schools return on Oct. 22, as long as cases decline. If JCPS remains in the yellow/ low orange range, sixth and ninth graders would return to school one week later on Oct. 29.

Finally, if cases continue to stay low, all other middle and high school students would be allowed to resume in-person classes by Nov. 2.

In addition to these plans to return to school in-person, Pollio announced that a virtual academy would also be available for students, families and teachers who may have an underlying health condition that would put them at risk, should they return to schools.  

He plans to survey families and teachers in the district to get an idea of how many students and teachers would continue to learn from home. 

All of these plans would require meetings and votes with the school board before being put in place. 

Pollio also emphasized the importance of following the health and safety guidelines the country has been using for the past seven months. This would include frequent cleaning, wearing masks in schools and practicing social distancing guidelines. 

“It is so important our community follow these guidelines to get us back,” Pollio said. 

Pollio stressed that schools will only return to in-person if the board deems it safe for the health of students and faculty, but understands the need to return to school in-person. 

“We are committed to getting our students back to school as soon as possible,” Pollio said.

On Tuesday, Pollio will officially recommend to the board that we continue distanced learning but has full plans on returning to in person schooling as soon as possible. From there, the board will have to have multiple meetings and votes before the final decision.