Manual teachers on JCPS in-person return


Robinson helping students out during her Sociology class R1. Photo by Tyler Lericos during the 2019-2020 school year.

Aliyah Lang

Last week a 4-3 vote in the Jefferson County Board of Education meeting ruled to continue with Superintendent Marty Pollio’s plan to return to in-person school. 

Superintendent Marty Polio’s proposal consists of Manual and other high schools returning to in-person teaching on April 5 following spring break. 

Additionally, JCPS will follow a hybrid schedule with the last name A-K on Monday and Tuesday and L-Z on Thursday. and Friday. On Wednesday all JCPS students will be virtual. 

Mrs. Ritchie (English) has worries about students who are virtual for instruction.

“I have little confidence in myself because I feel like I’m able to be a dynamic educator in person but I am not at all comfortable with myself teaching virtually. There is way too much nuance that is lost in teaching to a screen,” Ritchie said. 

Despite the hybrid return plan, students will have the option to remain fully virtual and teachers will underlying health conditions may as well. 

Dr. Wieck (Social Studies)  will be fully virtual, as he has a medical waiver. The plan for classes for teachers who will be fully virtual is not too clear.

“I assume there will be some students sitting in my classroom viewing my class on their laptops,” Wieck said.

JCPS has made an effort to ensure that all teachers are fully vaccinated before they return to in-person school which Manual teachers will receive their second dose on Wednesday.

Although teachers will be vaccinated, Wieck feels as there is still a question on how safe returning truly is.

“I believe it makes more sense to begin in-person classes in the fall when a larger portion of the population has been vaccinated,” he said.

This month marks a year of the closing of JCPS schools and many across the country, with the last two semesters of the 2019-2020 school year and the first four semesters of this school year virtual on NTI. 

Throughout NTI Manual classes have been starting at 9 and lasting for 50 minutes in comparison to a normal 7:40 start time and 90 minute class periods, which many have adapted to the new schedule. 

 Ritchie looks forward to continuing her traditional school routine.

“Personally, I will be happy to start waking up earlier, packing my lunch, showering, putting on a cute outfit while dealing with my two dogs, two cats and two kids, rushing like a speed demon, sloshing my coffee everywhere. Leaving my house at 6:50 am to get to school in Old Louisville in time to open my classroom for the day,” she said. 

However, she also has concerns regarding the health of her students and their families. 

For more information regarding the JCPS in-person return plan check out our story, JCPS prepares for in-person school.