The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way things operate - both around the world and here in the Tri-State, with schools as no exception.
Both parents and kids alike will need to stay up-to-date on the safety measures each district has in store for its students and staff as classes begin to resume in August and September.
School officials have noted that reopening plans may be adjusted as the coronavirus situation evolves. This article will be updated as new information becomes available.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has signed an Executive Order requiring face coverings throughout the Hoosier State, effective July 27. In schools, the use of masks will be required for grades 3 and up. Faculty, staff, volunteers, and anyone else in schools will be required to wear a mask when social distancing isn't possible.
Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation
Students in the EVSC district will begin heading back to class starting on Aug 19.
For the first several days of class, students will return in phases in alphabetical order by last name, as a way to gradually introduce students back into class so they can get used to the new safety guidelines and expectations the district has for them this year.
EVSC has three different operating levels - Level Green, Yellow, and Red - which will dictate which schools will be open and how students will be instructed, based on the current coronavirus conditions in Vanderburgh County.
Students will have three different options on how to learn, so long as the current operating level allows:
- Learning at School
- Temporary Remote Learning
- EVSC Virtual Academy School at Home
During Operating Level Green, all three options will continue. Level Yellow will bring targeted closures and/or a hybrid attendance model. Level Red will close schools to in-person learning, with students only being able to learn through virtual instruction.
Parents in the district are also being asked to enroll their children for daily bus pick up.
More details can be found within the EVSC's full 13-page reopening plan, which you can view by clicking here.
Warrick County School Corporation
The Warrick County School Board has approved in-person instruction to begin on August 12.
Warrick County School Corporation (WCSC) will begin the school year with students physically present in school, though WCSC Superintendent Brad Schneider says that plan is subject to change as the COVID-19 situation changes.
Warrick County School Corporation will use a three-level system contingent upon the COVID-19 conditions at any given time. Warrick County School Corporation will concurrently offer families a live streaming option under all levels.
- Green: K-12 students are physically present at school.
- Yellow: Hybrid (some students are present at school while others may be working remotely from home).
- Red: No students in the physical building. K-12 distance learning from home.
WCSC Superintendent Schneider released a letter to parents and guardians detailing the corporation's plans for the 2020-2021 school year.
WCSC's full reopening plan is available on its website,
Diocese of Evansville Catholic Schools
Diocese of Evansville Catholic Schools will begin reopening in phases, with some students returning as soon as Aug 5, and some as late as Aug 13.
The Diocese of Evansville Catholic Education Office said students will be expected to wear masks in situations where social distancing can't be accomplished, such as in the hallways.
At this time, Catholic schools within the Diocese of Evansville do not have a long-term virtual option for families - though if a student needs to be quarantined, the school will provide extended learning.
You can see a full list of which Diocese of Evansville Catholic Schools are reopening and when, as well as answers from the Education Office to FAQ by clicking here.
Knox County Schools
The first day of class for students in the Knox County Schools (KCS) district will be Monday, August 17.
Students will have two academic options for the fall semester: in-class instruction, and KCS's Virtual Learning Program.
For those students attending in-person instruction, temperature checks will be performed upon any person's entry into the school building. Additional safety measures in place for in-person instruction include hand sanitizer and disinfectant in every classroom, and the requirement of masks while on campus when social distancing isn't possible.
Students who enroll in the Virtual Learning Option will still be able to participate in extracurricular activities at their base school.
The full reopening plan released by Knox County Schools can be found on its website.
Pike County School Corporation
The Pike County School Corporation has released guidelines on its preparation for starting the school year.
All PCSC schools will begin the 2020-2021 school year on August 12, 2020.
Students will have the option to attend school in-person or online.
Staff and students will be required to have a mask at the ready at all times, for when social distancing can't be maintained.
You can find more information on PCSC's back-to-school plan on its website.
Many Kentucky schools are now reconsidering their startup dates since Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear recommended all schools wait until Sept. 28 to begin in-person instruction.
Masks also became mandatory throughout Kentucky on July 10, when social distancing isn't an option. The mandate has already been extended once by Gov. Beshear, who in reference to the mask mandate said, "for the near future, we're gonna have to do this - we're gonna do it 30 days at a time."
Union County Public Schools
UCPS students will return to in-person classes on Sept. 14 at 50% capacity. The students will be on a rotating A/B schedule.
Other options will still be available to students in the district, such as virtual learning.
Students enrolled in UCPS will return to campus and classrooms on a regular schedule with in-person teachers. Health and safety procedures will be enhanced and meet Kentucky's Healthy at School Guidelines, according to the district's website.
More information on the district's return to in-person instruction can be found on the Union County Public Schools website.
Henderson County Schools
On Aug. 26, Henderson County Schools (HCS) will start the school year with non-traditional instruction (NTI), not in-person class as originally planned.
HCS students will return to school in small groups beginning Sept. 8 for 90 to 120 minutes a day, while still learning through NTI.
On Sept. 28, HCS will roll out hybrid classes, which will allow students to head back to in-person classes - but even that could move up if the district superintendent deems it safe to do so.
The Board of Education approved 4 back to school reopening options to be used for instruction for the 2020-2021 school year:
- In-Person Instruction - 5 days a week
- Virtual Learning Academy
- Non-traditional Instruction (NTI) (used upon school closure)
- Hybrid schedule would be considered and possibly implemented if we were out of school for an extended period of time. Students attend school 1 or 2 days a week and use NTI 2 to 3 days a week.
Parents/Guardians can choose from in-person instruction or virtual learning academy for their child.
Before school begins, Henderson County Schools will be offering a district-wide back to school orientation during the week of August 17 for all students in Kindergarten to 12th grade, to provide the opportunity for Henderson County students to be comfortable and ready for the first day of school.
Owensboro Public Schools
Owensboro Public Schools students began Virtual Academy instruction on Aug. 24.
Now, OPS will be offering its Hybrid A/B model starting on Monday, Oct. 12, meaning students will return to in-person instruction on a rotating schedule.
The OPS district will be offering two options: A/B Model in-person learning, or Virtual Academy:
- Students enrolled in the IN-PERSON A/B Model will return to campus and classrooms with an A/B school schedule and in-person instruction. Enhanced health and safety precautions will be in place. Read more on the A/B Model here.
- Students enrolled in the Virtual Academy will experience online learning with identified support and contact with Owensboro Public School teachers and opportunities for acceleration and enrichment.
Students will be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities whether they are on the A/B Model or Virtual Academy.
Families will be notified of district plans for school following fall break.
You can find OPS full reopening plan on the OPS website.
Diocese of Owensboro Catholic Schools
Diocese of Owensboro Catholic Schools has released the following statement:
"The Catholic Schools Office for the Diocese of Owensboro respects and appreciates Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s recommendation to begin the 2020-2021 school year with non-traditional instruction until September 28; however, after consultation with, however, after consultation with diocesan administration, the Catholic Schools Office for the diocese has made the decision to continue their plan to re-open all of their 17 schools at some point during the month of August. This plan includes in-person instruction for all students, five days a week."
The Superintendent of the Catholic Schools Office for the diocese says a plan is in place that they believe makes students "low risk" for the spread of coronavirus. You can click here for more information.
Owensboro Catholic Schools
Students of Owensboro Catholic Schools will return to in-person class on Aug. 26.
When OCS classes are back in session, all students in grades 1st through 12th and every employee will be required to wear a mask. OCS has released guidelines on face masks.
More information on OCS's 2020-2021 school year reopening plan can be found on the OCS website.
Hopkins County Schools
For the 2020-2021 school year, HCS will offer in-person instruction following and a Remote Learning Program that will be available only during the upcoming year.
Answers on FAQ's about HCS's Remote Learning Program and more can be found on the HCS website.
HCS students will return to in-person instruction under the Kentucky Department of Education's "Healthy at School" guidelines.
Daviess County Public Schools
Following Beshear's recommendation to delay in-person instruction at all Kentucky schools until Sept 28, Daviess County Public Schools students will return to class on Aug 26 under the district's "Red" status of its stoplight model, meaning students will start school with a Non-Traditional Instruction/Digital platform.
DCPS said it would keep the “Red” model (NTI/Digital) program in place at least until Monday, Oct. 12, upon the district's return from Fall Break.
However, some DCPS students will now be returning to in-person instruction in mid-September under the district's "Orange" status of its Stoplight Model.
DCPS is offering two choices that parents/guardians may select for their children as of the first day of school: In-person instruction and Virtual Academy.
Within the In-Person Instruction option, it is important to note there are three operating levels that will affect how schools in the district operate as the COVID-19 situation evolves in Daviess County. DCPS's in-person schedule will also operate on a staggered attendance schedule.
DCPS has released a full reopening plan on its website through guidance from Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack and Clay Horton, public health director at the Green River District Health Department.
McLean County Public Schools
Students in the McLean County Public Schools district will begin returning to in-person instruction on Sept. 28, one month earlier than originally planned.
MCPS students were originally set to return to in-person instruction on Oct. 28, but McLean County Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Burrough says a new reopening plan was developed that will bring students back to class earlier than originally planned.
A letter released by Supt. Burrough says that not all students will return to class at first, but that certain grades will be picked up by buses for all-day instruction and orientation.
Schools within the MCPS district include Calhoun Elementary, Livermore Elementary, Marie Gatton Phillips Elementary, McLean County High School, McLean County Middle school, and McLean Alternative Center.
Muhlenberg County Schools
All students in the Muhlenberg County Public Schools district will now begin the 2020-2021 school year with virtual instruction.
MCPS students can temporarily return to in-person instruction on a hybrid A/B schedule from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2.
MCPS has created a reopening plan that would allow students in the district to return to in-person instruction if COVID-19 cases in the community meet a certain threshold.
The plan created by MCPS has three different operating zones: Green, Yellow, and Red.
- Green: MCPS will be in the Green Zone when Kentucky has extremely low statewide virus transmission rates, and when there are minimal cases in Muhlenberg Co.
- When MCPS is in the Green Zone, students can attend in-person instruction five days per week. Extracurricular activities remain normal, as well as access to campus and buildings.
- Yellow: MCPS will be in the Yellow Zone when Kentucky has a "relatively stable" statewide virus transmission rate and when there are numerous cases within Muhlenberg County.
- In Yellow Zone, a hybrid instruction model of in-person classes and virtual learning will be in place, with the possibility of an alternating in-person schedule.
- Red: MCPS will be in the Red Zone when Kentucky has "increasing" statewide transmission, and there are substantial cases in the county.
- Buildings will be closed to in-person classes. Technology devices will be sent home with students, and WiFi hotspots will still be available in all school parking lots. Students will interact with their instructors and classmates online.
Wabash Community Unit School District #348
Due to the increasing positivity rates of COVID-19 in the community, Wabash CUSD #348 has moved into remote learning status.
Wabash CUSD #348 students returned to class on Aug. 13 under a soft reopening plan.
During the soft reopening, Wabash CUSD #348 students will be divided into two groups, alphabetically by last name.
New Health/Wellness guidelines will be in place to keep students and staff safe:
- Face masks will be required for entry into any Wabash CUSD #348 building.
- Symptom screening will be conducted for all students and visitors.
- People will social distance as much as possible keeping a 6 feet
Wabash CUSD #348's full reopening plan can be found on its website.