Despite high Omicron community transmission rates, Fayette County schools continue in-school instruction.
Fayette Schools Superintendent Demetrus Liggins says there are no plans to move away from in-school instruction. Liggins said universal masking of students and staff make that viable, even with the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Legislation approved this week provides for up to ten remote learning days for individual schools. The current policy has allowed for ten remote learning days for the entire school district. During a Friday news briefing, Liggins said no one Lexington area school is closer to at-home instruction than another. “Each day we’re also getting constant reports of the amount spread in a school or how many positive cases have been there, so there’s no one particular school that’s on the radar at this point. That can change from day to day and from morning to afternoon, to be honest,” said Liggins.
The school district administrator stressed the health and safety of students and staff is of utmost importance. So, if conditions change to warrant remote learning, he would not hesitate to make that call.
Last fall, Dixie Elementary moved to remote learning for three days. Since then, no Fayette school has been shut down for COVID. New starting next week will be COVID testing available at each school campus on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for students and staff.
Liggins said a CDC study found less than 3% of Lexington students exposed to COVID in schools ultimately developed the disease.
The schools superintendent noted staffing remains a challenge including the transportation of students. “We are always looking for bus drivers. We still are not fully staffed with bus drivers and we will definitely continue to recruit bus drivers. So, if anyone is interested in driving a bus, even on your off time from being a camera crew and media specialist, you’re definitely welcomed to do so,” explained Liggins.
As school officials deal with a surge of the Omicron variant, Liggins said students have made some progress academically. Still, overall, the school district administrator noted it will, quote, “take years to get back on track.” Coronavirus has impacted attendance. Liggins added prior to COVID, district student attendance ran around 94%. It’s about 92% during these pandemic days.