Given the difficulties created by the pandemic during the past school year the Kentucky Legislature passed Senate Bill 128 offering school districts the opportunity to offer a supplemental school year to parents and students. Governor Beshear quickly signed the bill into law. This gives Kentucky School Districts the option of allowing students to repeat the school year. It will also give student athletes an extra year of eligibility.
Some parents think having their children repeat the school year is a good idea. Having to do most of kindergarten, first grade, second grade in a virtual setting robs those kids of the structure of a regular school day. Other parents want their children to advance to the next grade.
Some of the cons are geared mostly toward older students where it might be more socially detrimental to have them repeating a year, to have to make new friend groups.
School officials are working out the details. Like if this school year and the supplemental year will be on the same transcript. Will high school students be able to repeat a class instead of the entire year? Officials are looking at applications as they come in and are waiting on more guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education.
Several districts in central Kentucky have started accepting applications from parents who are interested. Jackson County Public Schools Superintendent Mike Smith said they are waiting for the guidance document from the Kentucky Department of Education before they make any formal decisions.
Supt. Smith indicated that he anticipates the option to be taken advantage of at the high school level. JCHS Principal Brian Harris indicates that there may be a few taking advantage of the opportunity. “I hope the school board passes it. If a kid wants to come back they should allow it. I am 100 percent for the student being given the choice. It will help some students. It isn’t mandatory so I don’t see a downside,” Principal Harris remarked.
School districts have until June 1 to decide if they will offer the supplemental year or not.