The Frankfort Independent Schools Board of Education on Monday heard a report on the district’s phase-in plan for instruction.

“We’ve taken a slow approach,” Frankfort High Principal Tyler Reed said. “I’m really excited about where we are, especially with our phase-in approach we just launched.”

Monday was the first day FHS had freshmen back in the building.

“We had 51 freshmen come out," Reed said. "That’s about 57% of our class, and they did a great job following protocols, getting in classes. It was like the first day of school, especially with those freshmen, just learning where the rooms are.”

Reed said staircases allowed just one-way traffic, and students sat two to a table in the cafeteria for lunch.

“I saw masks all day, and that’s just a testament to the staff,” he said. “We have relentlessly gone over the protocols. Due to that phased-in approach, bringing small groups back first, I think they really understood the significance of those.

“If the numbers hold with us, we’re excited to keep our freshmen in a few weeks through Thanksgiving, and hopefully bringing sophomores and juniors in with our next phase on Dec. 7. “

Reed said there were eight to nine students in a classroom with four to five students logging in for virtual instruction.

“We expected it to be a little low with the transition, getting word out, understanding,” he said. “Of course, you have the families that want to see what’s going on first as well.

“I expect it to pick up a few more percentage points as we get our feet under us and families become even more comfortable with understanding what we’re doing.”

Second Street Principal Sam Sams said the transition is going well at the school.

“This is week three or four where we’ve been doing our half-days, where anybody who wants to do in-person is in-person from 8 to 11,” she said. “It’s been working out really well. We hope to extend that in the near future.

“I think kids are seeing the benefits, being in person with a teacher and getting that help instead of through a camera because some were really struggling with that.”

A report was given on the renovation work at F.D. Wilkinson Gymnasium. Bobby Driskell, FIS director of pupil personnel and chief operations officer, said abatement would be complete on Friday and the facility would be asbestos-free by Friday.

The renovation has left FHS without a home gym for the upcoming basketball season.

FIS Superintendent Houston Barber said the district and Kentucky State University are working out the legal side of an agreement, from KSU’s side, to help FHS’ basketball teams have practice and games at KSU.

“I want to give a lot of credit to Kentucky State University,” Barber said. “They are going out of their way to partner with us right now, not just in the early college, but they’re looking at the minority teacher recruitment and how to help us solve that challenge.

“They are really going an extra mile for activities and athletics. They’re pushing to support us on facilities. They are doing everything possible to help us out in whatever facilities we need, which I think is remarkable considering our circumstance.”

The board dealt with several agenda items during the meeting.

 • Approved KISTA (Kentucky Interlocal School Transportation Association) financing for a school bus purchase for the 2020-21 school year.

• Approved a contract with Woodland Tree Care of $19,900 for the removal of specified trees at F.D. Wilkinson Gymnasium.

• Recognized the Frankfort High cross country teams that competed at the state cross country championships Oct. 31. It was the first time since 2001 that both the boys and girls teams qualified for the state meet.

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