In Person Learning January 25-January 29 I want to reach out this afternoon to let you know that we will be able to continue in-person learning this coming week, January 25- January 29. Wednesday will continue to be a virtual learning day. Our numbers are staying fairly consistent and we feel as though we can safely bring students into our buildings because we continue to follow CDC recommendations. It is very important that families keep in contact with the schools if your children have been around a positive case of COVID-19 so we can help determine when they may return to in person learning. In order to best protect everyone, students need to remain on quarantine for 14 days after contact with a positive case but it can be very confusing regarding when this time starts and ends. If a student tests positive it is important that they isolate for 10 days, and there is an executive order for parents to communicate that information with the schools as soon as you know so that we can keep all in-person students and staff safe. We are very fortunate that by the end of the day tomorrow the COVID-19 vaccine will have been administered to all staff that wanted to take it. We thank our local health department and our regional health department for working with us so quickly to get our staff taken care of. We hope this will help us continue to feel good about having in person learning, but we will continue to monitor the incident rate map and make decisions on a weekly basis regarding in-person school for the following week. We thank our families for all you are doing to support the schools and we want you to know we are here for you. Reach out with any concerns. Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Lee County School Families, The news from the regional health department was promising today and Lee County is headed in the right direction. Our map number is currently at 30.9 and the data is more current now than it had been over the holiday period, so we will start back with in person learning this coming week. Please note that Monday, January 18th is a break day for schools as it is a day set aside to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students who selected in person learning will come on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday this coming week. Each week that we are in person, Wednesday will remain a virtual learning day to allow us time to deep clean the buildings in the middle of the week and to allow for teachers to have the necessary time to try to balance virtual and in person learners. While we are very excited to have students coming back in the buildings, it is also a nervous time for all. The only way we can make it happen safely is for all of us to do our parts in trying to contain the virus. If your child or anyone in your household has been in contact with a person positive for COVID-19, it is important that they stay in isolation or quarantine at home. A person testing positive must isolate for 10 days from the positive test, and a person who is a household member of a positive person must quarantine 14 days after the positive person has recovered. If you have any questions about the time period you need to stay away from other people and not return to school, we would be glad to talk you through the guidelines. The Governor still has an executive order requiring all parents to notify the schools if their children test positive. Please continue to do this and also let us know if there is a positive case of COVID in your home. All information remains confidential. We have spaced our desks very closely to 6 feet apart and are following all CDC guidelines and recommendations. We know, however, that there is always a chance that COVID will come into our buildings. If a student or staff member tests positive, we will be in contact with all those who will have to quarantine. It may be that a small group of students, an entire class, an entire grade, or larger population will have to return to remote learning for a time period to work through a quarantine. We ask for your patience and understanding in this process. If the numbers in Lee County begin to escalate dramatically, we may switch back to remote learning for the following week or on a short notice depending upon the situation. One thing we have all had to learn to get better at during this pandemic is flexibility, and I personally want to thank our parents and families for the grace you have shown in being flexible throughout this entire school year. Buses will run on normal schedules on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of next week but because the number of students will vary you should watch for your bus early and expect it may come later than usual. If you can transport your child to help us reduce the number of students on the buses, please continue to do so. Food deliveries will not take place but families whose children will remain on virtual learning may pick up food at either lunchroom. If your child was coming in person in October or you scheduled for your child to come in person and you now want them to remain virtual but haven’t told school staff, please call and let us know tomorrow. We all look forward to seeing our students next week. Sarah Wasson Superintendent
To: Lee County Bobcat Families I hope that all of our families had a relaxing two week break from school in December and have gotten back into the swing of school. We have been monitoring our numbers on the COVID-19 dashboard and they were pretty good at the first of the week but went up to 52.1 yesterday. In communicating with the regional health department, the 14 new cases that were added yesterday were in large part due to the regional jail. However, because the map uses data that is from when the cases are reported on the national system, we know this data is quite a bit behind our current case count. Our regional health director is very helpful in providing me with timely information regarding the status of cases in our county, and he has indicated that numbers have increased significantly since the first of the year. This was the prediction from the Christmas holiday and then, a week later, the New Year’s gatherings. Because the numbers are significantly up, we will be staying on remote learning this coming week. This is a great disappointment to all of us. We have worked all week to communicate with families and get accurate counts of who wants to come back in person. We have spaced our desks correctly and have everything in place to be able to do school in the healthiest environment possible. But with the numbers of positive cases on the rise in our small community and the health department struggling to keep up with the cases due to the high volume, we feel like the safest thing to do at this time is to stay with remote learning. In order to truly get a handle on this virus, we need everyone to follow the CDC guidelines of social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing. Gathering together with people outside your family in larger groups and being less than 6 feet apart is causing many to get the virus or quarantine. In order for us to help with the contact tracing of our students and staff, it is important for all cases involving our students to be reported. You can report positive cases of COVID-19 to Mr. Phillip Angel at central office or to the principals of the school. We also have attached a Google form that you can use to report positive cases or quarantines involving people in the household of one of our students. This information would help us greatly in determining whether or not we can have in person school. We will continue to gather the data, look at the map, and communicate with our regional health department regularly and will make decisions based on all the data we have. I will let you know on Thursday of next week whether we can start back on January 19th or if we will postpone a little longer. Keep in mind that January 18th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and there will be no virtual school that day. Sincerely, Sarah Wasson Superintendent https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeLgi24Z5QUQmiTgiwdVrQHDXfswCPWQ1dbWx9jsTnZ3G8veA/viewform?usp=sf_link
Update on School For January, 2021 Tonight we are just one school day away from a well-deserved and needed break for families and staff. I want to let you know about our current plan for returning to in person learning after the break. The governor has recommended students do not return to in person learning until at least January 11th due to potential spread of the virus during the holiday, and we agree with this recommendation. Remote learning will pick back up on January 4, 2021, but we will not have in person learning or small group targeted assistance during that first week. We hope to return to in person learning on January 11th, but will have to make the final decision during the first week back once we see where Lee County is with the spread of the virus. Over the break I’m sure that some of our students may catch up on missing work or finalize assignments that they weren’t able finish this week. Please know that teachers will review work that students make up when they return on January 4th, and don’t worry if you don’t see a quick response on questions or grades being entered into Infinite Campus. While all of our teachers and staff love helping our students and go above and beyond what we ask of them, I have asked them to try to take a break from their screens just as our students and parents need a break from theirs. This is a time for all of us to enjoy time with family, relax, and reflect on the blessings that we have even in this difficult COVID world we live in. We are pleased with the number of cases of the virus being reported by the regional health department right now as they appear to be going down. We still need to hear communication from parents if your children have tested positive to the virus so that we can work to keep all students and staff safe when we are able to return to in person learning in January. We know the health department is overrun with a high caseload and we keep our own records of cases and try to assist in the contact tracing process so that we can keep known cases and contact with positive cases out of school a safe amount of time. If your child were to test positive or anyone in your home tests positive over the break please call my direct line at 606-464-5066 and let me know or send me an email. I will be in the office several days over the break and will receive voicemail if I happen to be out. We appreciate everything that our families and community have done as we have worked together to educate the children of Lee County in a most difficult time. All of us in the Lee County Schools hope that everyone has a safe break and we look forward to seeing you in 2021! Sincerely, Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Free Food Basket Program and School Next Week I want to make all of our families aware of an opportunity to receive a free food basket for the holidays. This coming Saturday, December 12th, there will be a drive through food distribution at Cliffview Resort at the Zipline entrance. Families will receive a food basket with a turkey or ham and other food items for holidays. The event takes place from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and people will receive a basket on a first come first served basis. Everyone will have to stay in their vehicles and food will be brought to your car. This is for anyone in Lee and Wolfe County with a need for additional food and is sponsored by a group called Giving in the Gorge. Lee County is still in the red on the state incident rate map and the governor’s executive order shutting down schools in counties in the red is still in place. Therefore, we will still be on complete remote learning this coming week. December 14th – 18th will be our last week before we have a much needed break for 2 weeks. It is extremely important for us to not become complacent with the guidance of the health department. We should all wash our hand regularly, wear our masks, maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet, and if we are sick or around anyone who is sick we should quarantine until we are symptom free for 24 hours without fever reducing medicine. Holidays are especially difficult because they are traditionally a time of gathering, and we need to take precautions to stay healthy and keep our family and friends healthy. Please continue to reach out to the schools, your children’s teachers, and our virtual program staff if your children are needing help with their work. It is our goal that all children are successful and we will do our best to help in any way. Thank you, Sarah Wasson Superintendent
COVID-19 School Update for Week of Dec. 7- Dec. 11 Dear Families, I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and all are back in the routine of school. Our county incident rate has improved significantly from just two weeks ago when we were at our all time high. Tonight we are showing a rate of 77.2. This still puts us in the red category and according to the executive order issued by Governor Beshear does not allow us to have in person school next week. However, our principals will be working tomorrow to develop a plan for bringing in small groups of students who need additional help. It is important for you to follow the COVID-19 guidelines for quarantine. If your children have been around anyone who is known to have the corona virus, they must quarantine for 14 days after their last contact. Please do not send children in for small group instruction that are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to the virus in the last two weeks. As always, if you need additional help or have questions, please contact our schools and speak with the teachers or principals. Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Tuesday Meal Deliveries Rescheduled to Wednesday Due to the snow that fell last night and the icy condition of some of the roads, we will not be taking food on bus routes today. The routes that were supposed to be traveled today will be made up tomorrow. Thursday and Friday should be able to be delivered as planned.
Lunch Deliveries Start Tomorrow- Monday, Nov. 30 Please see the attached photos of our bus lunch delivery routes. Note the approximate time each bus will be at their first stop. The roads served by the buses are listed in the order traveled which may help you determine what time the bus will be at your child’s stop. When you see the bus or school van pull up outside your home or at your bus stop, please wear your mask and meet the drivers to get your food. Meals can still be picked up at either school on Monday and Thursday. PLEASE NOTE THAT BUS 87 AND 102 START LATER EACH DAY THAN ALL THE OTHER BUSES. If your child doesn’t ride a bus when we have in person classes and you want to receive food but you forgot to sign up, you can still do so and we will add you to the lists for future deliveries. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdnHJSP0M1cqbry-beokN14vTppGszi0BdmJioGUtu2oQGU-Q/viewform?usp=sf_link
Parent, Student, and Community Input Needed When we come back from Thanksgiving break we will have 3 more weeks of school before the winter break. We know that virtual learning is tough for many of our students and we have made changes along the way to make it better, but as superintendent I would like to hear from you to get input on things that are going well or things we need to improve upon. I am setting up a series of meeting times to meet with parents of students in grades K-5 and 6-12 separately so we can focus on school specific issues. I would also love to talk to students in grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 to find out how things are going from a student perspective. There is a Google form for parents and a separate one for students to pick a date and time to meet with me via Zoom meetings for anyone interested. I will have to have your name and email address in order to send the link to you for the meeting. However, if you don’t have email or you can’t meet and want to share your opinions, you can use this same Google form to do so. Also, we are starting the work to develop what is called a “profile of a graduate.” This means we want to spell out what we believe every student who goes through our school system needs to know or be able to do when they graduate. We are interested in finding out the characteristics you believe every student should have by the time they are ready to walk across the stage. We are seeking the input of parents, community members, and students. Again, if you can’t meet, you can still provide input on the forms. Please use the Google forms found on our district Facebook page or our website to sign up for a meeting time or provide us with your input. I will limit each meeting to about 25-30 guests so please sign up early. The Google forms will close on November 29 and the meeting links will be emailed on November 30 to those who want to participate. If you don’t have access to the Internet or email please also feel free to call me at 606-464-5066. If I am not available at the time you call you may leave your input on voicemail or leave your phone number and I'll get back with you. Thank you, Sarah Wasson Superintendent Parent Meetings on Virtual Learning https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfAOwlCOziWePgAICAw_nVeFKNmCtjgOaS_zwQxZN56Aq7AyA/viewform?usp=sf_link Student Meetings on Virtual Learning https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfCxBuKFUqtB_PKquSWYr4cRY3UlrZ6JiFaeY5o1gnrjaFRtA/viewform?usp=sf_link Parent/Student/Community Member Meeting on what we want our students to have when they graduate https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdG6EuuN4dDSXFQhWU4ADXTlqYrMaF-eSSwDJCnjdjvM4wr-w/viewform?usp=sf_link
School Next Two Weeks As you likely have heard, the Governor has placed new restrictions on school districts in the new executive order that he put in place last night. His order says that all schools must stay on remote learning until January 4, 2021 with the exception that elementary students can return to in person learning on December 7, 2020 if our county is orange on the map. Next week, we only have school Monday and Tuesday. These will both be virtual days and we are going to be extremely limited on bringing in small groups of students. Please do not plan to meet with teachers in our buildings Monday or Tuesday unless they have contacted you. Wednesday through Friday of next week is a break for staff and students to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. Please be careful as you celebrate the holiday so we can all stay safe and get back to learning in person as soon as possible. During the week of November 30 through December 4 we will continue on virtual learning and will not have any small group instruction so families can keep their children at home and make sure there are not cases of illness that come up from gatherings on Thanksgiving. We will evaluate what we do for the next week depending on where our numbers are on December 3rd. Additionally, all athletic practices will cease beginning tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. and will not start back until Monday, December 14th. This expectation was giving by KHSAA today and will be following through in our district. We hope our athletes will continue to condition at home and stay prepared to come in strong and healthy on the 14th. Beginning on Monday, November 30, we are going to try something new to help get food out to families. We will be sending food out on 5 of our bus routes on Monday and then the remaining 5 routes on Tuesday. Drivers will drop off food at every bus stop they normally make and provide food for multiple days each time they come. They will repeat the routes Thursday and Friday. If your children were riding a bus before we went to complete remote learning the drivers will automatically stop at your children’s bus stop. If they weren’t riding a bus and you want food delivered on one of our routes, please complete the Google Form that is on our webpage and Facebook page or contact David Lyons by email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-464-5071. If he isn’t available to answer just leave a message with your name, your phone number, how many children 18 and under are in your home, and your address so he can plan which route will take your food. We will be working next week to determine exactly which routes will be delivered which day and about what time you can expect the bus to run so you can make sure someone is there to get the food. We are going to have to work together as a community to slow the spread of this virus. In looking at the map this evening, our number is 683.1, which is extremely high and is largely due to the numbers of cases at the prison being added to our daily average. However, we are also seeing some community spread and would ask our community to try hard to follow all the guidance provided by health officials regarding social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and refraining from gathering in large groups in order to try to get our community back in a healthy range again. We want to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving break next week. Sarah Wasson Superintendent https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdnHJSP0M1cqbry-beokN14vTppGszi0BdmJioGUtu2oQGU-Q/viewform?usp=sf_link
Update for the week of November 16- November 20 Lee County recently had a large increase in our incident rate on the KY COVID-19 map to 252.8. This is in large part due to a spike in cases at the local prison and we want to extend our thoughts and prayers out to the staff and inmates that are affected by this recent attack by the virus. With our number so high, we will be continuing virtual learning next week. However, we will continue to work in our small groups as planned by the schools. We want to keep all students and staff safe, so if your family has connections with anyone working in the prison we would ask you to hold off attending small groups until after Thanksgiving break. This would give the health department time to get a handle on the spread of the virus and reach out to those who need to quarantine. It will be important for our community to work together by wearing your masks in public places, not having large gatherings, and follow the guidance in our decision tree that was explained last week to determine if your child can come to the schools in small groups. The rise in cases in the state is concerning and, with the holidays coming up and more activities moving in doors, we all must do our part to help slow the spread of the virus. We would like to remind you that lunch and breakfast may be picked up at either the elementary school or the middle high school on Monday or Thursday next week, and if your children are struggling with any of their work reach out to the schools and they will connect you with people who can assist you. Thank you for your support through this challenging time. Superintendent, Sarah Wasson
Update for School for Week of Nov. 9- Nov. 13 We have moved back into the orange color on the Kentucky COVID-19 map, but all counties around us are red and additional testing is being done in our county. I have spoken with our regional health coordinator and we have decided that we will continue with virtual learning next week, but we will start to bring in individual students and small groups of students who need extra assistance. I have created a video explaining how long students must remain out of the schools if they have symptom of COVID-19 or if they have been in contact with household or non-household members who have tested positive for COVID-19. I also placed the decision tree on the Message from the Superintendent section of our district webpage. Please help us keep all staff and students healthy by following this guidance. We will continue to monitor the situation with cases in our community and all around us to make the best decisions possible on returning to school in person. Please continue to help slow the spread of the virus by wearing your masks in public places and maintain social distancing when you are around groups of people in public or private settings. We look forward to seeing some of our students next week and hope for a continued downward trend of the virus so we can bring back all of our in person students soon. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SMExVE8NW2gCJy3CC0Cstn2tp0M6FX-D/view?usp=sharing
Meet Our Virtual Academy Team Our district staff and Board of Education are committed to trying to make this virtual environment we are in work for our students and families. Right now all of our students are working on a virtual platform, but when we are able to come back to school in person, we still have over 350 students who will work virtually because their families feel it is best for their circumstances. We want to support all students, and have developed a Virtual Academy to be able to reach out to students and families and help in any way we can. The team in our Virtual Academy is led by Mr. Phillip Angel, our district DPP. We also have Mr. James Dailey overseeing the plans to help the students at the elementary school and Mr. Joshua Broadwell overseeing the plans to help the students at the middle high school. We have hired two additional people to provide direct services and make phone contacts as well as home visits to families who are struggling with virtual lessons. Ms. Barbara Brownfield will be working with elementary students and Mr. Stephen Donithan will be working with middle high school students. Our Virtual Academy does not assign separate work or replace the work that teachers assign the students, but will provide support in catching up and try to communicate with families the importance of staying caught up on their work. The team can schedule time with students and/or guardians to find out what the barriers are to being successful and help resolve the issues that may be causing students to get behind or fail their classes. They can hold individual Google Meets, make phone contacts, and soon will be setting up time to provide individual tutoring. If families are struggling, please reach out to our Virtual Academy team who will be able to help answer your questions or connect with the teachers or people who can help get students back on track. James Dailey- Elementary Dean- 606-464-5088 Barbara Brownfield- Elementary Intervention Instructor- 606-464-5084 Joshua Broadwell- Alternative Dean- 606-464-5197 Stephen Donithan- Middle High Intervention Instructor- 606-464-5083 Phillip Angel- Director of Pupil Personnel- 606-464-5064
Update For School for the Week of Nov. 2-Nov. 6 Our current number on the Daily Incident Rate map is 158.2 and, in speaking with our regional health coordinator, we will continue to work in a virtual environment this coming week. This number is slightly lower than it was yesterday, and that is encouraging. However, more tests were performed on Monday and more today, and those numbers are not necessarily reflected in the incident rate map at this time as the numbers on that map come from the national data counts. I know the numbers and data are confusing. The Daily Incident Rate map is made up of data over a 7 day average and based on a population of 100,000. Our population is much lower than that, so a relatively small number of cases in our county will show up as a rather large number on this map. This map is the designation by the state based on CDC and health professionals to guide us in our determination of whether we have school in person or not, but it is not the only factor and it doesn’t just affect schools. When a county is red, the governor asks the entire community to focus on safety measures that will help the community reduce the number of cases. I want to assure our community that we want our students in school. Our staff is working hard to make connections with our students and provide curriculum that meets the academic standards. However, we know it isn’t the same as being in person with our students and our students are missing out on socialization and activities. We may eventually go back to in person learning even with numbers on the map that are escalated, but the risk of doing it too soon, while our numbers are as high as they are, is that students and staff will transmit the virus, more people will be quarantined or become ill, and we could be shut down for a much longer period of time. If our entire community works together to help bring the numbers down, we will be in much better shape to come back in person and sustain in person learning for several weeks at a time. We hope that everyone practices healthy social distancing guidelines for Halloween activities. Also, please note that Tuesday, November 3rd is Election Day and is not a school day. If you haven’t exercised your right to vote I encourage you to do so on or before Tuesday. We will update you next Thursday evening regarding the following week of school. Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Update on School For Week of October 27-30 As we continue to monitor the cases of COVID-19 in our community, I want to reach out to you tonight to let you know that we will continue in an all remote learning environment this coming week. Our average daily incident rate as of right now is 42.5, keeping our county in red status. While many of our cases are directly related to the nursing home, the regional health department has established testing at our local health department facility, and it will take a bit of time to receive the results. There is not testing tomorrow, but testing will be set up again this Friday if anyone would like to be tested. In communicating with our regional health department leader, it is important for us to stay in a remote environment this week and give the community time to see where the cases stand. Next week we will reevaluate the local case count on Thursday evening at 8:00 p.m. and make a determination for the following week regarding in person classes. Please continue to wear your mask when you are in public and maintain social distancing even when around your friends and family. In order to have school return to in person learning we need to be able to contain the virus as much as possible and lower our incident rate significantly. Our teachers and staff are continuing to reach out to individual students who are at risk of failing or are getting behind in their work and we will do everything we can to help our students. Please note the end of the first 9 weeks is tomorrow, October 22nd. Friday, October 23rd and Monday, October 26th are not school days for students, but these days would be good days to try to get caught up on missing work. If you have changed your mind about sending your child to in person classes and want to switch to complete virtual learning for the 2nd 9 weeks grading term, please reach out to your child’s school or Mr. Phillip Angel. Sarah Wasson Superintendent
COVID-19 Update- October 19, 2020 We have added one student to our dashboard as testing positive for COVID-19 today. The student has been on virtual school since the beginning of the year so no other students have been impacted. We thank our parents who are communicating with us and will continue to provide updates as they happen. Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Update On COVID-19 Cases I want to reach out to you and let you know I appreciate your support and understanding as we moved into a completely remote learning environment quickly this week. We have the state Department of Public Health map to guide us in our decision making and it is intended to be a system that we look at on Thursday evening and make a decision for the following week. However, this is just guidance and is not the only information we have. I worked closely with our Regional Health Department director and received some information on Wednesday indicating there were high levels of COVID-19 cases in our nursing home with both residents and staff. The numbers at that time were high enough that I felt it was in everyone’s best interest to switch quickly back to remote learning to allow the nursing home time to finish evaluating their situation and the health department time to gather the data and help make further decisions. We send our thoughts and prayers to all of those in the nursing home who have been affected. We have had 3 students who have attended in person classes reported to our district today as testing positive for COVID-19. One student in 8th grade and one student in 5th grade have not been to in person classes since October 1st and due to the passage of time the health department does not feel as though there is any risk of exposure to any 8th or 5th grade student or staff. The third student is a 2nd grade student and has not been to in-person classes since October 8th . Again, the health department does not feel as though there is any risk of exposure but we have reached out to every family of every student in this child’s class to make them aware to monitor for symptoms. I want to make sure all parents know where to find information regarding positive cases that are reported to the school system. I have created a link from the Superintendent Messages page of our district webpage that will take you to a site to find any district data. We are required to report to this website each day we have school how many student or staff cases there are and how many students or staff are quarantined due to exposure at school. We will always do our best to reach out individually to parents of students who have had potential exposure on the day that we get this knowledge. We will let you know when the student was last in person and where they may have been in contact. Because we have to report on students whether they were in-person or attending virtual, we may not always have phone calls to make, but we will also post this information the school dashboard linked on our webpage. The Lee County Health Department is establishing a testing site on Monday and we will continue to monitor the cases with the regional health department to determine when it will be safe for us to return to in person classes. I will provide you with more information next week. Again, I thank you all for your support.
Change to Remote Learning Starting Tomorrow, October 15 Due to the recent information of the high level of COVID-19 cases in Lee County, our schools will shift to a completely remote learning environment beginning tomorrow. We will also be completely remote next week. I will be in communication with the health department next week and as they gather further information on the spread of the virus they will help us make a determination of what is best for our students and staff in the weeks to follow. We will have food pick up available at the back of the middle high school for those families who wish to pick up meals tomorrow. Please continue to stay safe by practicing good hygiene, wearing your masks, and maintaining social distance when around others. This is difficult on all of our families who have trusted us to keep a safe environment for our students in our buildings, but until the spread of the virus in our small community is known and under control we want to do what is safe for all students and staff. Thank you, Sarah Wasson Superintendent
Information Regarding Remote Learning Day During the board meeting tonight we had a discussion of meeting the needs of both in-person learners and our virtual learners. We don’t have enough staff to separate virtual and in-person learners into two groups and our teachers having been working hard to try to manage uploading the content for all learners into the virtual classrooms because we know that at any time we could have to switch back to all remote learning for certain time periods if the virus case count were to increase in our community. We have been struggling to meet the needs of both in-person and virtual students and we want to give our all to our students. In order to give our staff the time they need to manage both worlds and give all students our best effort, our school board has approved for our district to have one completely remote learning day through December. On these remote learning days, students will complete their work from home and teachers will work with virtual students as well as complete all the tasks they have to do to provide the best instruction to both sets of learners. The first complete remote learning day will be this Friday, October 16. We will then utilize Thursday, October 22, Friday October 30, and Friday Nov. 6 as remote learning days. Once our 4 day weeks have passed, we will change the remote days to Wednesday to give students a break from masks in the middle of the week and ensure that we maintain the focus that these remote learning days are still school days. The remainder of the remote learning days will be November 11th and 18th and December 2nd, 9th, and 16th. We will evaluate the need for additional days at our December board meeting. During our first few weeks of being in a complete remote learning environment many of our students did exceptionally well at managing the curriculum and completing their work. However, many students also have received failing grades for not completing work. If your child is still working in the completely virtual learning environment it is critical that you help monitor your child’s work to make sure they are completing all assignments in a timely manner. The board has also committed some additional staff to help us try to close the gap that has been created for our virtual learners and we will get more information out to all stakeholders soon regarding options available for additional one on one help for your child who is in a remote learning setting daily.
Lunch Menu for October 5th through October 8th Monday- Pizza Tuesday- Turkey and Cheese Sandwich Wednesday- Elementary- Hot Pocket Pizza Sticks Middle High- Mozzarella Sticks with Sauce Thursday- Chili and Grilled Cheese OR Strawberry Yogurt Grab and Go Lunch Sack Thursday of this week and each following week we will do our best to follow the lunch menu provided at this link as well as on our Food Service department page on our website. This schedule has meal plans for both in person and virtual learners on a two week rotating schedule. In person students will have an option of a hot meal or a grab and go lunch sack each day beginning on Thursday. Some meals may change slightly depending on different commodities that arrive. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gdTc-hrZn5KS7a1Rdo-0AULUFvk0mGXk/view?usp=sharing Please remember if you are the parent of a virtual learner and want to pick up lunch at the back of the Middle High School please contact Darian Creech by phone at 606-464-5000 or email her at Darian.firstname.lastname@example.org. You may leave her a message if she is not in her office and let her know the names of the students for whom you will be picking up lunch.
Lunch Menu for Wednesday and Thursday Our food service department has to follow a lot of new guidelines as they prepare and package food to go out to our students in order to keep food as safe as possible as it is taken to classrooms during in person classes. Everything must be bagged or packaged, which includes items such as an apple that doesn't have a peeling that would be removed before eating. Our food service department is working under strict guidelines and we are learning as we go to work under these guidelines and provide food that our students like. We are also adjusting to the number of meals we are preparing for in person and virtual learners. Because food has to go out to classrooms and students aren't able to come through a line to pick up food, we will work to develop a way to offer choices in the coming weeks. To help families decide if you would like to eat food from the cafeteria or if you would prefer to send a lunch with your child, we want to let you know what the main menu items will be for the next two days. We will be posting this to the Live Feed of our website for each week. Tomorrow we will have Chicken Fajita Tacos and Thursday we will have Pork BBQ sandwiches. In person students will be provided food on Thursday afternoon to take home for Friday and the weekend. Virtual students who need lunches and breakfasts may pick them up between the hours of 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Thursday and will be able to continue to pick up food each Monday and Thursday. The pick up location is the back of the Middle High School at the entrance near the cafeteria. This is the same spot that middle school students are dropped off and picked up. There is a sign on the door giving you the number to call when you arrive and food will be brought to you at the door. If your child is a virtual learner and you want to pick up food each week, please call 606-464-5000 and let Darian Creech know so she can ensure she prepares enough food for pick up. You may also email her at email@example.com.
Information for September 28-October 2 We have a few things to let you know as we start back to in-person classes tomorrow, Monday, September 28th. The information is in the video linked here and also posted to the Message from the Superintendent page on our district webpage. I will keep all communications updated on this page so you can find anything you need at any time. I have also linked the KY COVID-19 page with the color coded map and a link to all the guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education on this page. Additionally, when the state provides a link to the school and district dashboards that show how many cases are in various schools and districts throughout the state, I will share that link on the Message from the Superintendent page as well. We look forward to having students back in our buildings this Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday and Friday of this week will be virtual learning days. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZXJSyFnyKjNMz5zilt1dwTGboTqTb8d3/view?usp=sharing
Lee County Schools are returning to in person classes beginning September 28, 2020. We have a lot of information for our parents and are sharing it in the attached video and in a letter on our webpage and Facebook page. Please take a few minutes today to read the letter or watch the video so you know what in person and virtual learning will look like when we return and what needs to happen if you have changed your mind about how you want your children to continue in school when we start back to in person classes. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X1INt1HmXob3w_xBGIUmRPrE7loAwxml/view?usp=sharing https://drive.google.com/file/d/14AKcETEkv8w6s5_KLZuPEakyVzfqUsHj/view?usp=sharing
Join us for our Back to School Bash and Registration Event Next Week Families will come to the Board of Education to complete paperwork and then go to the schools to pick up supplies and information for the upcoming year. Please come according to the schedule on the flier if possible to help us spread out the number of people. Paperwork is on our district webpage on a link under Parent Resources if families want to print and complete it prior to coming.
If you have questions regarding the virtual learning program we will implement as school opens on August 24, 2020, please submit them through this Google Form and we will do our best to answer them in a live Facebook session with Superintendent Sarah Wasson as well as Principals Carol Napier and Danny Wright and Assistant Principal Jessica Napier on Monday, August 17, at 4:00 p.m. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc_p9c_qysMNnRWvo9ScZiCOqHhKitJcTYiFHErL65pd7HIFA/viewform?usp=sf_link
Updated Calendar During the special called Lee County Board of Education meeting on August 3, the Board established an updated school calendar. This calendar will have students start on August 24. There is still a choice for parents of in-person classes or virtual classes, and most parents have responded to our survey letting us know which choice they prefer. If there are still parents who have not communicated that with us, please call the schools or the central office and speak to Mr. Phillip Angel. If the governor asks schools to hold off in-person classes past the 24th of August, we will start school all virtual on this date. We will be establishing dates and times soon for parents to complete needed paperwork for the 2020-2021 school year and to get the devices to families who requested them in the survey. When this process is set up, we will send a phone call out to all parents as well as post more information on our district webpage and Facebook page.
Paraeducator Study Guide Link and Other Employment Opportunities Click on the link below to take you to our employment page where you will find the study guide in the documents section as well as an application for employment. https://www.lee.kyschools.us/o/lee-county/page/employment--350
Updated School Calendar Attached is the updated school calendar for the 20-21 school year with a new student start date of August 12. This will be the first day for students whether they select in person classes or our virtual program. We will continually monitor the cases of COVID-19 in our area to determine if this is still the best start date, but it is the belief of our district leadership based on health department guidance that starting early will give us more days of in person instruction available prior to possibly having to go into a virtual environment on a more regular basis depending on the trend of the virus. We appreciate those families who have already submitted your survey regarding your selection for in-person or virtual curriculum for the upcoming year. If you have still not sent your survey to us, please try to get it in the mail by tomorrow, Thursday July 16, so we can best prepare for the upcoming year. We know that what you select now on the survey may change as the situation with the virus changes, but if we know what you want to do as of now we can make better plans to serve your children. Thank you all for working with us to help us make the best decisions possible for the upcoming school year.
Quick Link to Employment Opportunities Please follow this link to find employment opportunities in the Lee County Schools. https://www.lee.kyschools.us/o/lee-county/page/employment--350
P-EBT Food Benefit Program for Public School Students Students who receive free or reduced price lunch are eligible to receive an additional benefit of $313.50 due to COVID-19 for households to spend on food at home for students. If your child is currently enrolled in SNAP benefits, you do not need to do anything. These funds will automatically be added to the P-EBT Card. If your child is receiving Medicaid or KTAP benefits based on income levels below the NSLP income guidelines, or if a child is in foster care, a P-EBT card will be mailed to you with instructions and you don't need to do anything to apply. According to information we have received at this time, all other students in the Lee County Schools may apply for this benefit because we participate in the CEP program and all students here qualify for free lunch. Please see the attached flier for information on how to apply. You will need your child's state issued school identification number. This number is the same number students use to log in to Infinite Campus to access their grades and attendance information. If you do not know this number, you may call 606-464-5000 and ask to speak to Sherry Profitt. Please call next week Tuesday - Friday from 8:00-12:00 and 12:30-3:30. You will need to be able to provide information that identifies you as a child's guardian before you can receive this information. Please have the child's birthdate and social security number available to tell Ms. Profitt when you call. If the information does not match what we have in Infinite Campus you will need to come by our office and show identification to prove guardianship.
Student Voice Survey The Student Voice Team of Kentucky is asking students in grades 6-12 to complete a student voice survey related to their experience with school and how COVID-19 has affected the way they are learning and feeling. If students in grades 6-12 would like to participate, please complete the survey at the following link. https://surveymonkey.com/r/svtcovid19
School lunches are once again being taken to pick up points throughout the county. The attached picture shows the locations and pick up times and these are also still on our webpage. If you need a lunch and have not been coming to get one please call us in the morning and we will make sure we have enough. Also, if you have been coming to get lunches but no longer plan to come, let us know so we can reduce our numbers. We can feed any child age 18 and under in the county. There have been many questions about our end of the year activities such as prom, graduation, and promotion ceremonies. At this time, the only thing we know for sure is that we will not be able to have prom on May 2nd as originally planned. If students have ordered tuxedos or other items for the prom it would be best to try now to cancel those things. If there is any chance for us to hold a prom or special dance later in the year, even after school is officially out, we want to do this for our kids. But until the spread of this disease is under control we can’t make any plans or set any new date. Additionally, we had moved the senior trip to New York up to July, but we are going to be working on cancelling that trip as well. With the affect this virus is having on New York right now, we don’t feel comfortable that going in July will be safe for our kids and staff. We will see what recommendations come from the governor’s office at the end of April and May and see if we can plan any other type activity for our seniors. Regarding end of the year promotion ceremonies and graduation, we don’t have an answer at this time. We know these ceremonies are important to our students and we are hoping that time will give us what we need to be able to have some kind of ceremony. For our senior class, this is especially hard as we know they will move on to other adventures in their lives. Our goal now is to plan to create a virtual ceremony of some type and be ready if this is our only option, but we also will have hope that we can have a ceremony at a later date. If seniors and their families have suggestions or input they would like to give, please reach out to Ms. Smith, Mr. Angel, Mr. Stickler, or Ms. Wasson through e-mail or give us a call. We miss our students very much and want everyone to know that these are tough times and decisions for all of us, but as Governor Beshear says, we will get through this together. The number one goal is to keep everyone healthy and come out of this stronger and closer in spirit than ever before.
KET Schedule Even though we are on spring break, we want to let you know that KET has changed its daily programming to bring educational opportunities for children of all ages. If you can access KET, you might want to check out the attached schedule and tune in for shows that would interest you and your kids.
Update on School Closing The governor has asked us to take additional time out of school and we will follow his recommendation. At this time, school will be out until April 20. March 23 - March 27 will be our second week of NTI days. March 30-April 3 will be our spring break. No NTI work will be required during that week. April 6 - April 10 and April 13 - April 7 will also be NTI days. We will be utilizing online learning as much as possible but will also develop new work packets for those in need next week. Our teachers are working hard to develop Facebook pages to connect with kids, Google Classrooms, and are trying to connect with students in many ways. They are doing everything they can to keep the learning going. Our classified staff including bus drivers, cooks, assistants, and support staff all continue to do work to support the learning of our students. We are proud of everyone for stepping up in this situation and taking care of our kids. We are also proud of our parents and are thankful for your support as we work through this challenging time together. We will be back in the schools and working remotely next week from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to help your children with lessons. Please remember that you can drop off work at Save-A-Lot, Jack's IGA, both Dollar Stores, and the Family Dollar.
Lee County Schools Closure Information Governor Beshear has now made a recommendation that schools be closed for the next two weeks starting on Monday, March 16. We will be following that recommendation and adding an additional week, which would have been our spring break, in an effort to help control the spread of the Corona Virus. We will be in session tomorrow. The first ten days of our closure will be NTI days, and we will make up two school days at the end of the year. We will return to school on Monday, April 6. Within the last few minutes we sent a phone, email, and text message to our parents, guardians, and staff about the closure. If you did not receive this message, it is very important for you to return updated contact information to school tomorrow. We appreciate your patience and support as we all work together in this challenging time.
Updated School Calendar Posted to Webpage We now have a link to the most recent school calendar on the Parent Resource link of our school web page. Should the calendar change in the future, you will be able to access the updated calendar on this link. We are attaching a current picture of the calendar here for your convenience.
Change in School Messaging System We will be making a change to our school messaging program to give parents more options in how messages are received. We have posted a news story on our district webpage about the different message types and how parents can select preferences on getting messages. A letter will also be coming home on Tuesday, March 3rd about the messaging system. On Wednesday, March 4th, all parents/guardians who have their cell phone numbers in our student information system should get a text asking you to opt in to receive text messages with our new system. If you don't opt in, you won't receive any further texts from our message system. Visit our webpage to find out more information.
We would like to thank all who came out tonight to honor Mr. Heber Dunaway. The former players and staff and the entire crowd that stood with respect for Mr. Dunaway was an awesome representation of our thanks for what Mr. Dunaway accomplished in his years as coach. Tonight was a great night to be a Bobcat!
No School In Lee County Tuesday, February 18-Friday, February 21, 2020 There will be no school the rest of this week due to illness.
Lee County Schools Closed Friday, February 7, 2020 After reviewing all weather information regarding snow coming in after midnight and continuing through the day tomorrow, there will be no school in Lee County Friday, February 7, 2020.
The Lee County Board of Education is selling Beattyville Elementary School and is currently accepting offers on the property. If you are interested in purchasing the school and property, please contact Mr. David Lyons at 606-464-5000 to schedule a tour of the facility. All offers on the property should be in writing and submitted to the attention of Mr. Lyons. Offers will be considered by the board at the upcoming board meeting on February 11, 2020.
School Board Recognition Month We would like to thank our school board members for their commitment to our students. William Owens, Lamont Coldiron, Donald Napier, Avis Thompson, and Janie Thorpe all keep the students in mind in every decision they make. We appreciate their service and dedication to our district!
Evening Routes are still on snow plan. Please meet buses at designated stops. Winter break begins tomorrow and students first day back is January 2nd. We hope you all have a restful break and enjoy time with your family through the holiday.
Lee County Schools on Snow Plan 12-18-19 The Lee County Schools will operate our bus routes today using the snow plan. This means that buses will run modified routes and won't run all roads they normally run. There are a few patches of ice this morning from run off in areas that make it unsafe for buses to travel on many of our snow plan roads. We are attaching a picture of the plan and it is on the front page of our web page.
We would like to congratulate Katie Bowman, Emily Reed, and Madison Begley for winning a $1,000 WYMT Mountain Classic scholarship. They were presented with their awards on Monday at the Mountain Arts Center. We are proud of their accomplishment and look forward to seeing what the future holds for these young ladies.
The regular scheduled SBDM Council meeting at LCMHS will be held every fourth Thursday each month at 4:00 pm.