Education spotlight

It had been just one day of 100% virtual learning, but Franklin County Schools Superintendent Mark Kopp and Frankfort Independent Superintendent Houston Barber were pleased with the results.

Both school systems opened Wednesday with entirely virtual instruction because of the coronavirus pandemic. They plan to go to in-person instruction later in the year depending on COVID-19's prevalence in the community.

“It went exceedingly well,” Kopp said. “It was just a very, very positive first-day experience. The few issues we had were technology-related, and they were very few.

“Our technology department has done an amazing job in terms of getting everything set up and assisting our teachers. A huge shoutout to our teachers, administrators, all of our staff members and, most importantly our students, their families and parents.”

The FCS school board voted to start the school year with 100% virtual learning at its July 20 meeting as part of a phased plan for reopening.

FIS’ plan was for a hybrid approach with families deciding whether they wanted in-person instruction or virtual learning for their children.

The school system changed its plan when Gov. Andy Beshear said schools should go with 100% virtual learning until Sept. 28, leaving FIS will little time to make changes.

Despite that, Barber said Wednesday went well.

“We had a remarkable first day virtually with no problems of live instruction being interrupted,” he said. “In fact, I received positive remarks from families and parents and students about the day.

“We continue to put safeguards in play that protect our students and families and teachers and staff. So proud to be a Panther.”

Several high schools in Jefferson County called off live online classes for the rest of the week because of disruptions Wednesday and switched to a different platform. Jefferson County Public Schools said it expects all schools to be back to live online classes next week.

Barber and Kopp said their districts didn’t have that problem.

Kopp said "hot spots" were delivered to some families who needed internet access, and flash drives have been distributed to deliver instructional materials.

“Stella Pollard, our instructional teaching coordinator, has done an amazing job assisting teachers,” Kopp said, “and Jimmy Pack, director of technology, and his entire staff have done a great job.

“At 4:15 yesterday (Wednesday), I had a virtual meeting with all our principals. One by one I asked them to say how the day went, and their comments were overwhelmingly positive.

“We’ll build on that and keep getting better each day.”

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