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Beshear recommends schools return to in-person learning by March 1

Coleman highlights new COVID-19 guidance for schools from KED

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday he is issuing a new executive order that recommends all school districts, including private schools, offer or expand some form of in-person instructional opportunities beginning March 1.

If district personnel have not yet finished their vaccine series as of March 1, the executive order recommends some form of in-person instruction begin seven days after they have received their second vaccination.

“What we foresaw is that the safest way to expand in-person opportunities is to vaccinate all of our school personnel,” Beshear said. “Since then, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others have moved that way, and other states have followed our lead.”

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) issued a comprehensive, 136-page manual, KDE COVID-19 Guidance 2.0, which will assist with the shift back into school buildings.

“Kentucky continues to be a national leader in vaccinating our school staff, and getting our kids back in the classroom safely remains a top priority for every Kentuckian — from the governor to our littlest learners,” she said. “With this guidance, we hope to make the transition back to in-person learning as smooth and safe as possible.”

Coleman said the manual advises schools on planning school-related student travel; administering spring state testing; operating schools after teachers and staff are vaccinated; assessing knowledge gaps caused by the pandemic’s impact on learning; and using second-round Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding.