For the first time since March, Franklin County Schools will return to in-person instruction Monday.

“After analyzing the data this week and speaking with the health department and consulting with the Board of Education, we will be returning to in-person instruction on Monday, Oct. 26,” FCS Superintendent Mark Kopp said in a video posted Thursday on the district's Facebook page.

“With the incidence rate decreasing today (Thursday) and staying close to yellow most of the week, the board strongly encouraged the district to return to in-person instruction.”

Frankfort Independent Schools Superintendent Houston Barber said his district will continue with its "orange plan" next week, bringing in small groups of students.

Barber said no decision has been made on what plan FIS will use the week of Nov. 2.

Schools have been using virtual instruction since March because of COVID-19.

Kopp reminded parents that if they would like to have their children continue with virtual instruction, they have that option, and they need to communicate that to their child’s principal.

“Please know we that we will still be monitoring the data very carefully,” Kopp said. “While the hope is we will not have to make week-to-week decisions, if the numbers increase to put into doubt the safety of our staff and students, we can revert to virtual learning at any point.”

Elementary schools will have in-person instruction Monday through Friday. Middle and high schools will have a hybrid format, with students attending in person two days a week and attending virtually the other three days.

“We’re going to do everything in our power to make this a successful endeavor,” Kopp said, “so hang in there with us, we’re one team, and thank you all for your patience and flexibility.”

After six straight days being in the federal government's yellow zone, from Oct. 14-19, Franklin County has been orange the past three days, but not by much.

On Thursday, the county’s COVID-19 incidence rate was 10.6. The range for counties in orange is an incidence rate greater than 10 to 25.

According to data compiled by the state, FCS has had nine virus cases among students and five among staff since districts were required to begin reporting their numbers. FIS has had one positive test among students and none among staff.

The Frankfort Christian Academy has had one staff member test positive, and no students have tested positive.

The breakdown of cases ever reported among local schools is Bondurant (three students), Collins Lane (one student and one staff member), Elkhorn Elementary (one student), Franklin County (two students and one staff), Westridge (one staff), Cofield (two students and two staff), Frankfort High (one student) and The Frankfort Christian Academy (one staff).

Kentucky State University had one new case in its student population in the last 14 days for a total of 74 cases among students since reporting began. The number of staff who have tested positive remains at three.

The state also posted that FCS has had 40 students quarantined this week, up from three last week. Being quarantined does not necessarily mean a person has tested positive.

Elkhorn Middle School has 25 students who are quarantined this week, and Western Hills has 10.

One FCS staff member has been quarantined this week, down from three last week.

FIS has had two students quarantine this week, up from one last week. There is currently no staff quarantined.

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