The Governor has issued an executive order stating that all children, staff, and visitors to public schools (regardless of vaccination status) are required to wear a face covering while inside the school buildings. This order took place beginning at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon and is in place a minimum of 30 days. If you have a mask for your child please send it with them to school tomorrow. If you do not, we have some at both schools that we can provide. When students are outside they will not be required to wear a mask. While we know that masks are a controversial topic, we want our students to be in person and this is the requirement we must follow. We will do our best to give our students outdoor mask breaks. Please help us continue to have in person school by explaining to your children the need to wear masks beginning tomorrow. We appreciate your support.
This coming Tuesday is our first day of school and we are excited to have our students back in our buildings this year. We want to make sure everyone knows that masks will be required to be worn on school bus transportation and masks are highly recommended for all students and staff indoors, especially those individuals who have not yet been vaccinated. Also, high school students who attend courses at our Area Technology Center will be required to wear masks while in classes at the center. We will do our best to keep students socially distanced at 3 feet in classrooms, but for many rooms that simply is not possible, so students will be in smaller “pods.” We ask that if your children are sick please take them to your family doctor and do not send them to school. We will work with our regional health department to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in Lee County and in our schools and may change our masking policy at any time in the future. It is our desire to keep everyone safe as we still continue to provide in-person learning to all of our students. All our offices and buildings will be closed to the public tomorrow, Monday, August 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for an all staff in-service training. If anyone needs assistance or has questions feel free to call or come by the schools after 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.
The COVID-19 incident rate for Lee County went to 27 today and we are now in the red on the state map. Because of this status, we will require all families, staff, and community members participating in Readifest or the Lee County Middle High School open house and orientation activities over the next two days to wear masks when entering the buildings. At this time, masks will still be highly recommended but an optional family choice for students and staff when school starts next week. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Lee County Registration Event is set for July 20th (Grades 3-5 and Grades 6-8) and July 21st (Grades K-2 and Grades 9-12) from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at the LCMHS Sedley Stewart Auditorium. Students will receive schedules & tickets for Readifest/Open House. See flyer for details.
Please see the pictures describing summer school bus routes. Buses will travel throughout the county and will pick up students along roads that are listed. Those roads that have an asterisk by them will not be traveled but will pick up students at the meeting location listed. Times listed are approximate and you should be outside waiting for the bus early if you want to ride. If your child is attending summer school and you have questions about the transportation routes please contact David Lyons Thursday at 606-464-5071.
New Executive Order on Masking Outdoors A new executive order signed by the governor went into effect at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday the 27th allowing people attending outdoor events with under 1,000 people to not have to wear masks. The Commissioner of Education at the Kentucky Department of Education has communicated with us that this will include playgrounds, outdoor ceremonies, and outdoor sporting events. This new order will allow us to take our students outside without masks for playtime or class, and it will allow us to have baseball and softball outdoors without masks. Wearing masks will still be an option for students when going out to playtime or if teachers take their classes outdoors for a time period. If you want your child to continue to wear his or her mask please talk to your child and explain it is still ok to do so and communicate with your child’s teacher so that we can help reinforce your preference. None of the indoor masking regulations have changed and students will still be required to wear masks on the school bus.
Today we had one additional 11th grade student test positive with COVID-19. The school staff has contacted 6 students to quarantine in relation to this case. We appreciate you continuing to monitor your children and keeping them home if they have any symptoms of illness. It is always best to seek your doctor’s recommendation on getting tested if you are not feeling well. We will continue to update you on our district website if we have additional cases. We are also recording the data on the state school dashboard which is linked from the Superintendent Message page of our district webpage.
Lee County School Families, Our district has been very fortunate and we have only had a very few cases of COVID-19 that could be tied to school related activities outside of school. As I mentioned in a communication on Saturday, we had 4 students test positive between Friday night and Saturday during the day. One student was in the 12th grade, one in 10th grade, one in 9th grade, and one in 8th grade. We were able to tie the spread of all of those cases to activities outside of the school day. Today we have had another 10th grade student on our softball team test positive and we also had another 8th grade student test positive. In every case, we work closely with the health department to make a determination of who will need to quarantine. The new student who tested positive today is in the 8th grade and also in the same homeroom as the one student in 8th grade who tested positive on the weekend. Today, the health department felt it was best since 2 students were both in the same 8th grade homeroom that we quarantine an entire class of 8th grade students. 8th grade changes classes in the afternoon, so we also quarantined any student within 6 feet of a positive student in any class. To give you a perspective of how many students this involves, since Friday, we have 6 students who have tested positive and are now in isolation and we have quarantined 59 total students with classroom or activity contacts plus 5 students who are siblings of students who tested positive. While this may seem like a lot of students, we have around 600 students who are attending school in person district wide so 1% are positive with the virus and around 10% are in quarantine. Students who have been asked to quarantine should have as little contact with other people as possible, including other family members. The COVID-19 virus may take several days to develop symptoms, so the CDC recommends keeping separate a minimum of 10 days if no symptoms develop. Quarantined students should not be around other students or family or any person in general including going to stores or other businesses or transporting siblings to school or the bus stop. There is a link to CDC guidance on quarantine on the superintendent message page from our district webpage. We have had several questions regarding what to do if a student has been in contact with someone who has been quarantined. Unless your child has been in direct contact with a positive case of COVID-19 in the 48 hours previous to the onset of symptoms or a positive test, you do not have to quarantine your child. He or she would be considered a “contact of a contact” and the health department does not quarantine a person unless they have direct contact with a positive case. We are praying for a quick recovery of our students and hope their symptoms remain mild. I know that all this information is confusing in some respects, but this has been the CDC and health department guidance throughout this entire school year. We have just been blessed not to have too many cases of COVID-19 in our student population. If you have questions about what to do, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or our Director of Pupil Personnel, Phillip Angel, and we will be glad to try to provide you with answers specific to your need. Thank you. Superintendent Sarah Wasson This link is a video with the same information in this live feed message: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Iqq6zYVW948zxRWu9DVaj3G6Qwf0WqrX/view?usp=sharing
Lee County Bobcat Families, Last night and today we have had 4 of our students at the Lee County Middle High School test positive for COVID-19. We are working to determine who the students were in contact with less than 6 feet apart and for more than 15 minutes and will be making individual phone calls to parents and guardians of those students who will need to quarantine as we work to sort things out. We are also in communication with our district health department leader. At this point we are only aware of middle high school students who will be affected by quarantine. We believe that the cases of COVID-19 were likely to have spread during activities outside of the school day, but we want to make all families aware to monitor your children for symptoms. None of these students had a fever that we are aware of, and that is not uncommon for COVID-19 cases. If your children have headaches, tiredness, nausea, or other symptoms outside of the ordinary for them please keep them home from in-person school until they are symptom free. If you have concerns they may be ill it is always a good idea to see your doctor and be tested to make sure that they do not have the COVID-19 virus. We appreciate all families working with us as we continue to move forward with school in an environment where COVID-19 exists. Please continue to inform us if anyone in your child’s family has COVID-19 or you know of someone who does so that we can do our best to keep our students and staff safe at school. My direct line at the office is 606-464-5066 and you may call any time. If I am not available please leave a message and I will return your call. Thank you, Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Virtual Learning Thursday and Friday The flood waters have went down in most areas but are still covering a few roads. It will take us a bit of time to check all roads that buses travel to make sure there is not debris in the roads and that they are safe to travel. Additionally, we want to give the water at the elementary school time to get back to full service before bringing students back in the building. We will be doing virtual learning tomorrow and Friday, but teachers will be in the building to assist so if your children need extra help please call the schools to schedule time. Our food service is still preparing meals for families with children and you may pick up meals at either school. They can provide food to any child through the age of 18. The Lee County Middle High School has been working with a local church to collect donations of cleaning supplies, food, clothing, and water. If you need any supplies due to loss from the flood, please give the school a call at 606-464-5150 to set up a time to come to the building to see what may be useful to you. Our family resource and youth service centers at both schools are also here to provide you with assistance if needed. We care deeply about this community and will work with county and city officials to help with the cleanup efforts and provide resources for activities normally held in the downtown area. Lee County is strong because of its people and the schools will be happy to be a part of the recovery. Right now we plan on being back to in-person learning next week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. If that changes, we will reach out. Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Virtual School Through Wednesday Our community has experienced historical devastation in our downtown area as well as other areas of the county. We are sending prayers to all those affected and thanks to all those who are helping with rescues and recovery. The school system has offered assistance to the county judge executive and mayor and we are here for the duration if anything is needed. We will remain on virtual learning through at least Wednesday of this week and will see if we can bring students back in person at that time. We recognize some people are displaced and a few are without power, so if students are not able to do their work virtually now we understand and it can be made up later. We want to give our students an outlet to communicate with their teachers and peers as we work through yet another challenge of this school year. We will have staff at both schools so if families need anything please reach out. Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Virtual Learning Monday, March 1 The rain has caused flooding issues in parts of Lee County as well as surrounding counties where some of our staff live. The rain is not predicted to stop until almost 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, so the flash flooding that is happening now will continue to be a problem throughout the night. All students will be on virtual learning tomorrow, Monday, March 1. Staff should come to the buildings unless you can’t get out of your house due to flood waters. Those that must take an alternate route to avoid flood waters should wait to leave when it is daylight so you can clearly see there is no water causing issues as you travel.
In Person Learning Tomorrow and Friday The warm temperatures of today will allow us to be back to in-person learning tomorrow and Friday. We are very excited to see all the in-person students again! Our buses will roll out at their normal times but be ready a little early as their schedules are still adjusting. Next week we will be in person Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday as long as weather permits. You can count on us going in-person on this schedule until further notice as long as the weather is good and our COVID-19 incidence rate doesn’t increase significantly. Plan on this schedule unless you hear differently from me. Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Remote Learning Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 22-24 We still have a few families without power in the community, but we are planning to have remote learning tomorrow through Wednesday of this week. Some of our side roads are still too bad for bus travel, our ATC building and bus garage do not have power due to an issue that the electric company hasn’t had a chance to get to with all the residential issues, and we have about 50 staff who will be getting their second COVID-19 vaccination tomorrow. Some of our staff that took the vaccine on Friday had symptoms after the shot that would not have allowed them to work the day after, so we want to make sure our staff is well enough to return to in-person learning. Hopefully the temperatures will warm up and we will return to in person learning on Thursday. If any student needs a warm place to be or to do their work, please call the school in the morning and set up a time to come to the buildings. We will also have food available to students from our meal program. If you need food please call the schools and come by to pick it up. If you can’t get out of your location, please call central office at 606-464-5000 and ask to speak to Mrs. Wasson and we will see what we can do to help you.
No School Through Friday, February 19 There are still a number of families without power and with the new snow that is predicted tonight we are going to cancel all school through this Friday. This means we will not have virtual learning or in-person learning tomorrow or Friday. We will see what the weekend holds for weather and let you know where we stand for next week on Sunday.
Wednesday, February 17- No Virtual School With many power outages still causing difficulties, Lee County Schools will not have virtual instruction tomorrow, Wednesday, February 17. Tomorrow will be another non-school day made up at the end of the calendar year. We thank all those that are working to restore power and water and keep the roads clear of snow, ice, and trees. Please stay safe.
No School in Lee County Tuesday, February 16 There will be no school in Lee County tomorrow, Tuesday, February 16. This will not be a virtual learning day. We will add this day to the end of the school calendar. Please stay home and stay safe.
Remote Learning Friday, Feb. 12 and Information About Next Week There are icy spots on roads that haven’t been treated and the temperatures will drop tonight causing wet spots to refreeze overnight. We will have a remote learning day tomorrow, Friday, February 12. Staff should check their email about reporting to the buildings. We would like to remind families that Monday, February 15, is a break day for all staff and students in honor of President’s Day. There will be no virtual or in-person learning Monday. We do plan on having in-person instruction next week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday if the weather cooperates. Forecasts right now do not look hopeful so we will be communicating with everyone next week.
Thursday, February 11, 2021 After another phone conference this afternoon with The National Weather Service in Jackson, KY, we are fairly confident we will have an ice event through the early morning hours. We are attaching two of the slides that were shared with us to indicate the timing of the event and the amount of ice expected. The amount expected has decreased slightly over what was predicted yesterday, but could still cause some issues for our district. We will plan to be on complete remote learning tomorrow, Thursday February 11th. If the ice does cause widespread power outages, please don’t worry. In that case, we will make up the day at the end of the year. We will let you know as soon as possible if that happens. Stay safe and warm tomorrow.
School February 8 through February 12 The incidence rate in Lee County is climbing back upward and we are now at 25.1 as of Thursday evening. There were 5 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Lee County yesterday, 2 on Wednesday, and 4 on Tuesday. Prior to that we were seeing numbers of 0 and 1 daily. It is imperative that we all continue to follow healthy guidelines so that we can keep school in person. Please don’t let you guard down. Maintaining 6 feet distance from others and wearing masks along with proper handwashing will help us all keep the spread of the virus in our community down. We have done well in the schools so far and ask you to continue to let us know if anyone in your circle of family and friends tests positive so we can work to keep the virus out of the schools as much as possible. We will be in person next week except for Wednesday as long as the weather cooperates with us. Monday of the following week, February 15 is President’s Day and is a break day for staff and students. Sarah Wasson Superintendent