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KEA ASKS SCHOOLS TO NOT OPEN FOR IN PERSON TEACHING CLASSES “FOR FORESEEABLE FUTURE”

'We are also expressing our concern about every potential, current and retired educator in Kentucky'

NEW GUIDELINES SET BY STATE EDUCATION GROUP MAY LIKELY LEAVE STUDENTS AT HOME FOR REST OF 2020

(COMES ON HEELS OF MOREHEAD STATE UNIVERSITY CANCELING THEIR FOOTBALL SEASON)

AUGUST 7, 2020 – by WADE QUEEN

The Kentucky Education Association (KEA) is urging all Kentucky school officials to not reopen to in-person classes, saying “doing anything else is simply irresponsible.”

In a lengthy statement released late Friday afternoon, the KEA, a group of nearly 42,000 educators statewide, stated the COVID-19 pandemic is worse now than when schools closed in early spring.

The following is the KEA’s entire statement:

“This letter is about all KEA members, but our concern isn’t limited just to them. We are also expressing our concern about every potential, current and retired educator in Kentucky.

“Public school educators are everywhere in our communities. Educators aren’t just teachers; they are also bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, school secretaries, instructional aides, and administrators. They are young and old, single and married, working and retired. If you are reading this letter, odds are high that you are connected to at least one educator in some way. A Kentucky educator might be your relative, your neighbor, a current or former colleague. They might be your own current or former teacher, school secretary, bus driver or friend. Educators aren’t remote figures with whom you have no connection: they are an integral part of every community in every county in the state. Like all of you, educators’ lives have been turned upside down by the coronavirus; that is particularly true for educators who are currently employed.

 

“When the first cases of COVID19 hit Kentucky in March, one of the first steps we took to flatten the rate of infection was to close public schools. That made perfect sense because schools are places where large numbers of people regularly gather in close proximity for extended periods of time. In other words, locations that create the perfect circumstances for this extremely deadly virus to spread. Due to the swift and decisive recommendations by Governor Beshear and with the support of local school districts, throughout March, April, and May, Kentucky was among the states doing the best job of controlling the virus.

“As a result, we started slowly resuming some limited activity on Memorial Day weekend. Two weeks later, cases in Kentucky started to rise. Renewed warnings were issued and the populace was reminded to behave responsibly.

“But the 4th of July and summer travel to virus hotspots have put all of us at risk again. Kentucky is now a state that other U.S. citizens are being warned away from. As recently as August 5th, when asked about the safety of bringing students back to school in person, Governor Beshear said, ‘If in-person classes were to start today and I had to make a recommendation, I would recommend to push it back.’

“KEA believes that public schools serve many roles, not the least of which is to provide a place where all students can learn and all educators can work in a safe environment. We teach children to think critically; to consider facts and science; and to make rational decisions based on what they know to be true. We all wish we knew when life will be able to return to normal, but we don’t. What we do know from the facts we can observe since Memorial Day is that acting as though life was back to normal absolutely doesn’t make it so. By every objective measure, and without public schools being open at all during the last few months, the coronavirus situation in Kentucky at this moment is far worse than it was in March. If we all believed it wasn’t safe to operate schools then, how can it possibly be safe to reopen now? The most difficult decisions to make are those where all the choices are bad. Under those circumstances, the best decision is the one that does the least harm. In this moment, we must all weigh our craving for normalcy against the health and safety of our children, the educators who actively serve them, the retired educators and other senior Kentuckians who are at higher risk from this disease, and all their families and communities.

“KEA believes the choice, based on scientific evidence, is clear: Kentucky’s public schools should not open to in-person instruction at this time. Every educator that can perform his or her duties from home should be encouraged to do so. For those whose job duties require their presence in school facilities, great care should be taken to ensure strict compliance with mask, social distancing, and disinfecting protocols. In short, only the most essential operations should occur in person, for the least period of time possible and with the fewest number of people.

“In-person instruction should not resume until, at a minimum, the infection rate in Kentucky statewide and the infection rate in the county in which the school district is located both fall below 4% and both remain below 4% for 21 consecutive days as measured by a 7-day rolling average. Districts must also consider other factors unique to their own communities, such as the infection rate among school-aged children and whether the Department of Public Health supports their reopening plan.

“Doing anything else is simply irresponsible. Even when those benchmarks are met, school districts that plan to reopen to in-person instruction must implement appropriate, comprehensive mitigation procedures, must continue to offer virtual instruction to families that request it, must accommodate staff members who are at high risk or who live with a person at high risk, and must be ready to return entirely to virtual instruction if the state or county metrics require it.

“Unfortunately, this will be the reality of public education and of our economy until there is an effective vaccine or reliable treatment for COVID19, or both. And no one can predict just when that might be.

“KEA calls on school district decision makers, specifically superintendents and school boards, to make the responsible decision to protect students and educators by closing schools to in-person instruction and beginning the 2020-21 school year virtually for all students.

“We applaud and fully support the many school districts that have already made the right decision and hope that others will follow those examples of leadership during challenging times. But there is no more time to waste: making this decision now allows educators to plan and develop meaningful online instruction and gives parents the time they need to prepare.”

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Comments 18

  1. Avatar Citizen says:

    Smartest thing I’ve heard!

  2. Avatar jeremy says:

    So if school is just going to be online due to the China Virus and the vaccines thats being worked on are 50% effective the kids might not ever go back. So are the buildings going to be sold, teachers laid off, tax money returned? I don’t think educators are getting what these decisions are doing. It’s slowly but surely putting teachers out of a job.

    • Avatar LCAlltheway says:

      You do realize that the teachers are still teaching right? They just do it virtually…. and the disease is called Covid 19…. not China Virus… listen to doctors rather Trump, you will learn SO much more….

      • Avatar jeremy says:

        It’s the “china virus” because it originated and was allowed to purposely spread from Wuhan china. Yes its a Cornavirsus but so is the common cold. Since we will probably never hold China accountable any other way at least calling it China Virus allows some blame to be given to China. Yes teachers will be teaching but if this continues too long you will start seeing teachers laid off. Costs of keeping maintenance of empty buildings will become sticking points of budgets. Not any point in my comment I discuss anything to do with doctors other than the 50% effective rate of the vaccines which came from Dr. Fauci. You state to listen to Doctors. Is that why most like 2nd or 3rd opinions? Why most hospitals get poor reviews? I guess because they have MD at the end of their name that makes them right. Dr. Fauci has not been wrong once yet. Right?

      • Avatar Charles says:

        Maybe you should listen to President Trump, instead of BSNBC and you wouldn’t be the idiot you are. You swallow their propaganda hook, line and sinker. A liberal from D.C or LC, spouts the same nonsense. The Spanish flu actually came from Spain, and the China virus actually came from China. You are an old woman with the mind of a child. I’ll bet you think Nancy Pelosi, AOC and Maxine Watters are brilliant, don’t you?

        • Avatar KAG says:

          you can call it anything you want
          the United States has about 4% of the world’s population and about 22% of the world’s death from the virus
          this has been a total disaster from your orange clown
          all he has been doing is trying to put the blame on somebody but him
          “it is what it is” says the orange clown

          • Avatar Charles says:

            If our GREAT President had locked down America, and put troops in the street to enforce it KAG, you would have screamed the loudest! We don’t do that in a Constitutional Republic, as they do in third world nations and dictatorships. We also have new cars to travel in, and we did. If we are too cast blame, maybe we should look in a mirror. You being stupid, can never grasp that.

          • Avatar KAG says:

            basically what he done was lock the door after the killer was already in the house
            you can’t deny the numbers refrigerated trailers parked in the hospitals parking lot
            the orange clown has been a disaster
            he is supposed to set an example and he has failed
            “it is what it is” says the orange clown

          • Avatar Charles says:

            Oh good God KAG, that foolishness doesn’t even deserve a response. Have you ever been diagnosed with a mental disorder?

          • Avatar KAG says:

            if you can’t dispute the truth just start calling people names i bet you are just like your orangre clown when someone corrects him on the truth you just walk away
            “it is what it is” 161,000 dead americans time for the orange clown to go

          • Avatar Charles says:

            KAG, I don’t like you. Don’t respond too me and I’ll leave you be. That fair enough? In closing; you don’t tell the truth, how can one dispute it?

          • Avatar KAG says:

            Charley are you saying that there has not been 161,000 deaths from the virus ?
            you are just like your orange clown when confronted with the truth you just get up and walk away
            “this will just go away when the weather warms up” says the orange clown

  3. Avatar Donna Horn says:

    Would love to see instructional plans fur virtual learning. Our students are already behind and as far as I can tell, the education they received at the end of 2019 was definitely deficient.

    • Avatar HatesWhiners says:

      Lesson plans aren’t secrets…. I’m sure your child’s teacher will gladly share. You have to remember that the schools shut down quickly last spring and teachers had very little time to prep…. And unfortunately when kids are taught virtually, the parents have to have a little more responsibility because the teachers can’t reach through those computers and make kids pay attention….

  4. Avatar Angela says:

    Kids have ran around all summer, going to the beach, staying all night with friends, playing ball. Let them go back to school.

  5. Avatar Jerry says:

    Elect crap as Governor expect crap to get on you. So disappointed in Ky and what it’s become. Would be losing if I didn’t wish for the worst. Because of stupid ppl. Love the Land but the ppl are pure dumb and stupid.

    • Avatar Charles says:

      Sometimes people will cut off their nose to spite their face Jerry! Bevin wasn’t loaded with charm, so the 5000 that Longneck won by, were people voting against Bevin, that was proven when Republicans swept all state offices except Governor. The liberals don’t remember they just won one office, and only by 5000 votes…out of 1.5 million votes cast. All in the commonwealth aren’t stupid, but liberals are stupid where ever they are! They are all dancing around now thinking there will a liberal landslide in November and Slow Joe will be President. That will be the end of America, if it were to happen.

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