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How to reopen schools was the topic of conversation at a Franklin County Schools special board meeting Thursday.

“We wanted to have a discussion with the board so we can help all of us understand how we’re going to be making the decision to when we can bring students back safely to our schools,” FCS Superintendent Mark Kopp said.

“Every person in this county wants our students to be back if it can be done safely. What we have to do is make a determination of what that safety measure is.”

Gov. Andy Beshear had recommended that schools have no in-person instruction until Sept. 28. On Monday he said he would not be making any more recommendations.

“Since that happened on Monday our administration, both at the district and at the school level, has been working diligently with the Department of Public Health, has been working with Judy Mattingly and our health department to help create a plan based off of this metric,” Kopp said.

The metric, provided by the state, gives the average daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for each county.

There are four levels of the metric: green (on track), yellow (community spread), orange (accelerated) and red (critical). Franklin County is currently orange.

The metric will be released every Thursday between 5 and 6 p.m., and Kopp said that data would be reviewed to determine how the district will proceed.

“We’ll use that number, speak with the health department, see where we are, and make a call for the following week on that Thursday evening,” Kopp said about the metric. “That would give folks Friday for planning purposes, and we would do this the Monday after fall break.”

Even when schools return to in-person instruction, parents will have the option to continue 100% virtual learning for their children.

Fall break is Oct. 5-9 for the district. Kopp said he would take the data released on Oct. 1 to make a determination for the week of Oct. 12.

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