It has been reported by the Beattyville Enterprise that Lee County Schools will return to virtual learning only following a number of positive tests for COVID-19 in the schools and in the community. They reported that on October 13th 2020, the Lee County School Board held their regular monthly meeting. The board members and superintendent discussed the issue of not having enough staff to separate the virtual and in person students for all schools. The school board originally voted to have one completely remote learning day through December to try and alleviate this burden. The plan was that on these days, students would complete their work from home while teachers would work with virtual students. The first complete remote learning was set to be last Friday October sixteenth.
However, two days later on October 15th the board chose to shift back to complete remote learning beginning the next day. This was due to the recent and ongoing Covid outbreak in Lee County which is indicating high levels at the Lee County Care and Rehab Nursing Home between residents and staff. Wasson stated she has been and will be in close communication with the Lee County Health Department.
On October 16th, Superintendent Wasson issued an update to families on the Lee County School District, KY Facebook page. The update consisted of the following: “I want to reach out to you and let you know I appreciate your support and understanding as we moved into a completely remote learning environment quickly this week. We have the state Department of Public Health map to guide us in our decision making and it is intended to be a system that we look at on Thursday evening and make a decision for the following week. However, this is just guidance and is not the only information we have. I worked closely with our Regional Health Department director and received some information on Wednesday indicating there were high levels of COVID-19 cases in our nursing home with both residents and staff. The numbers at that time were high enough that I felt it was in everyone’s best interest to switch quickly back to remote learning to allow the nursing home time to finish evaluating their situation and the health department time to gather the data and help make further decisions. We send our thoughts and prayers to all of those in the nursing home who have been affected.
We have had 3 students who have attended in person classes reported to our district today as testing positive for COVID-19. One student in 8th grade and one student in 5th grade have not been to in person classes since October 1st and due to the passage of time the health department does not feel as though there is any risk of exposure to any 8th or 5th grade student or staff. The third student is a 2nd grade student and has not been to in-person classes since October 8th . Again, the health department does not feel as though there is any risk of exposure but we have reached out to every family of every student in this child’s class to make them aware to monitor for symptoms.
I want to make sure all parents know where to find information regarding positive cases that are reported to the school system. I have created a link from the Superintendent Messages page of our district webpage that will take you to a site to find any district data. We are required to report to this website each day we have school how many student or staff cases there are and how many students or staff are quarantined due to exposure at school. We will always do our best to reach out individually to parents of students who have had potential exposure on the day that we get this knowledge. We will let you know when the student was last in person and where they may have been in contact. Because we have to report on students whether they were in-person or attending virtual, we may not always have phone calls to make, but we will also post this information the school dashboard linked on our webpage.
The Lee County Health Department is establishing a testing site on Monday and we will continue to monitor the cases with the regional health department to determine when it will be safe for us to return to in person classes. I will provide you with more information next week. Again, I thank you all for your support. Sarah Wasson Superintendent.”