SALYERSVILLE – Magoffin County Schools have released their plans to return to the hybrid plan of in-person instruction later this month.
School started back on Monday this week with virtual instruction only.
Magoffin County Schools Superintendent Scott Helton said the commissioner of education and the governor recommended schools not return to any in-person instruction until January 11. He said that after talking to the board members, they have decided to bring back all staff on January 11 and the same hybrid plan used in the fall will start on January 19.
He said they will be in the same group A and group B schedules, with one group coming on Monday and Tuesday, everyone virtual on Wednesdays, and the second group coming in on Thursdays and Fridays. Students not in the classroom will attend virtually. The students whose parents chose virtual-only, will continue to attend school virtually.
Helton explained that by starting on January 19, that will give both groups two days of face-to-face instruction before the nine weeks ends on January 25, giving them an opportunity to talk to the teachers in-person if they have any questions.
“It’s not just about academics,” Helton explained. “It’s about social skills and all of the emotional stress these students, teachers and parents have all been under. We’re trying to give the opportunity of face-to-face and anything we can do to get them in the classroom, we’ll try to do, but I’m also working with the health department and we’re in the orange right now. All of the dates we’ve given out are contingent on our positivity rate then.”
He said he wants to bring some type of normalcy to the students, teachers and parents, but he wants to keep everyone safe, as well.
Helton also noted that they are in the process of scheduling a day for staff that want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s a personal choice and I can’t force them either way, and I wouldn’t try to, but I just gave them the information and the opportunity to get it if they want it,” Helton explained.
Out of approximately 345 certified and classified staff, currently 173 have signed up for the vaccine.
Helton said when asked about his personal opinion on the vaccine, “I’m going to take the vaccine. My parents are older and I just want to get back to some kind of normalcy. I understand the concerns about the allergic reactions and everything, but in my opinion, it’s worth the risk for me, but there’s no ill will to anyone if they choose not to get it.”
Sports started back on Monday this week, as well, with the first home games in basketball held on January 4. Helton said cheer and dance will only perform at home games.
According to the KHSAA recommendations, they have to stay under 15% capacity, equaling roughly 300 people in the high school gym at one time (including the players, coaches, etc.), so tickets are being distributed accordingly. The middle school has games scheduled and Helton said they are planning the softball and baseball schedules, now. As far as elementary sports, he said they are hoping to have a small season this spring for basketball, cheer and dance, but no definitive plans have been made at this time.