COVID-19: News & Updates

Last Updated: 2/24/2021 2:15 PM

2021

FEBRUARY 2021

Reminder: Friday, February 26 is the final vaccination day for our staff. Students will complete remote learning assignments as assigned to them by their teacher(s). We thank you for your patience and flexibility throughout this entire vaccination process.

OCS staff who were scheduled to receive their second COVID19 vaccine on Thursday, February 18th, will now receive their second shot on Thursday, February 25th. All appointments will be at the same time and same location, just on a different day.

All other shot clinic days will remain the same as previously communicated.

In November the district sent an email to parents describing the three types of days that could be utilized in the event of inclement weather. These days are: make-up days, non-traditional instruction days (“NTI”), and Offline Learning Days. Offline Learning Days are a new mode of learning designed to be used on occasions, such as the teacher vaccination days, when instruction cannot be conducted through conventional means, but we do not want students to lose a day of instruction.

Recently we have received questions as to how we determine which type of day will be used for inclement weather, and why we are not utilizing NTI for every snow day. The purpose of this communication is to clarify how those decisions are made. The November parent email emphasized the importance of in-person learning for students. At that time, the district’s intention was to use make-up days for the first few snow days, knowing that it would not adversely affect the overall school calendar. However, on our second snow day of the year, we decided to try an Offline Learning Day for elementary schools in conjunction with an NTI day for middle and high school students. If we determined that Offline Learning Days were successful, we would be able to preserve student instructional days and avoid the need to use make-up days that eliminate scheduled non-school days and potentially extend the school year. Unfortunately, the Offline Learning Day did not meet the needs of our students, and was not as productive as we hoped. In short, it was an experiment that did not fulfill the educational experience our students deserve. For this reason, we did not attempt another Offline Learning Day for subsequent snow days.

So why not utilize NTI on snow days? When NTI was first approved in the state of Kentucky, it was designed for rural districts that were closing for ten or more school days in a single year due to inclement weather. At the time it was adopted, many educators viewed it as a calendar consideration, not a learning consideration. It provided relief from the required 170 days of instruction per year, but it did not necessarily provide the same level or quality of learning that students were receiving when attending in person. Due to the COVID pandemic and the Governor closing schools in the spring, all districts needed to implement NTI. Oldham County has grown and improved its implementation of NTI through the three rounds completed since March 2020. These have been long stretches of remote learning that take extensive logistical planning on the part of the schools. However, even with strong implementation of NTI, more students are struggling academically, and emotionally, than during traditional in-person instruction.

NTI tends to be more effective with older students because they are more independent learners and have the ability to work for longer stretches of time without parental supervision. K-3 students, on the other hand, tend to have a higher need for support. Notably, these are also the grades during which students are learning the fundamentals of reading and math. Even though our teachers and parents have done a tremendous job, and have worked diligently to provide a positive remote environment, it does not replace in-person learning.

The support and rigor of NTI works best when teachers and students remain connected via technology. The district ordered hundreds of Chromebooks between March and the beginning of the fall semester. Due to a nationwide shortage of a needed processor, these Chromebooks have not been delivered, which means we are not a 1:1 device district at this time. Fortunately some of our schools have had enough Chromebooks to share with other schools throughout the longer NTI periods. During closures due to the COVID pandemic, we were able to get devices into the hands of students who needed them within several days of announcing a move into NTI. However, the logistics of school-to-school Chromebook sharing makes it challenging to quickly (within a day or two) switch from in-person instruction to NTI. Schools that have Chromebooks available use them throughout the day during in-person instruction. These school-based Chromebooks allow collaboration among students while maintaining social distancing. If we move these Chromebooks from school-based to home-based devices to allow for strong NTI days on inclement weather days, it would diminish the effectiveness of our current in-person instructional practices.

I have heard the argument that other districts can pull off NTI on snow days, so why can't we? Those districts are either already 1:1 with technology, or relying on packet work to review concepts learned earlier in the year. Again, NTI is convenient for the school calendar, but not the same quality of student instruction as in-person attendance.

Currently the Board of Education supports the decision to use make-up days rather than NTI for weather closures because their primary concern, which I share, is the quality of student instruction. This means we will utilize make-up days for inclement weather going forward. Make-up days are, in order of use, February 15, April 30, March 12, and then June 7-11. I certainly hope we do not need to use many of these days between now and the end of the year. I know some parents, staff and students will support our methodology, and some parents, staff and students who will not. What I hope everyone keeps in mind is that there are more than 12,000 students in this district, all with different needs, accessibility, and home support. What works for one student or family may not work for another. The mission of OCS is to ensure the highest levels of learning for ALL students, and to fulfill that mission, we must make decisions based not on calendar concerns, but on what is truly best for students.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that the next vaccination day for teachers is on February 26. We are designating this an Offline Learning Day, and are working to improve lesson plans to make it a more productive and effective student learning experience than our first Offline Learning Day.

Respectfully,
Greg Schultz

JANUARY 2021

The Oldham County Board of Education has approved changes to the February school calendar, in order to accommodate the administration of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to OCS teachers and staff, which must be given four weeks after the first dose. The calendar adjustment also maximizes the number of in-person instructional days in February.

February’s Teacher Work Day has been moved from Friday, February 12 to Friday, February 19. This will allow for administration of the vaccine on the 19th and will be a non-instructional day for students. Vaccines will also need to be administered the following Friday, February 26. This will become an Offline Learning Day.

Friday, February 12 will become a B day for middle and high students.

An updated A/B schedule for middle and high schools can be found on our website at https://www.oldham.kyschools.us/Content2/a-b-schedule

We once again thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we work with our local health department to complete the important task of vaccinating our staff. 

Friday, January 29 will be an Offline Learning Day, similar to Friday, January 22, in order to complete teacher and staff vaccinations.

Changes to the February school calendar to accommodate the second dose of vaccinations will be communicated later this week.

During this pandemic, flexibility has been needed every step of the way. OCS has been working with the Oldham County Health Department to vaccinate staff in the most efficient and least instructionally disruptive way possible. 

Last week, many of our teachers received their first dose of the vaccine. The remaining 900 doses earmarked for OCS will arrive next week. We need to make Friday, January 29, another remote learning day so our remaining teachers and school support staff can receive the vaccine. Please know we are working under the constraints of receiving, storing and administering the vaccine as well as the time and administrative constraints of the health department. We will let you know later today whether Friday, January 29 will be an Offline Learning Day or an NTI day.

Now that we have worked through the first half of the first COVID shot clinics, we realize there is a high likelihood we will need to make changes to next month’s calendar in order to administer the second dose of vaccines. We will send more information on those plans later this week.

Thank you for your flexibility as we navigate our way through this pandemic. Providing these vaccines is a huge step forward in getting things back to normal. We appreciate your support as we continue to work hard for the safety and success of all our students and staff. 

The Oldham County Health Department has received the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations for OCS employees. As we work with the OCHD to administer these vaccinations, we find the need to cancel in-person school for a day in order to allow teachers to receive their vaccination at the OCHD shot clinic.

Therefore, this Friday, January 22 will be an OFFLINE LEARNING DAY.

Enrichment centers will also be closed this Friday.

Elementary students, including those in VLA, will complete Choice Boards this day. Click here to learn more.
Middle and high school students will complete asynchronous work assigned by their teachers. Middle and high school VLA students can continue to make progress in their Edgenuity courses. VLA small groups will not be in session this day.

Teachers will also work with students this week to ensure they know what’s expected of them during this Friday’s Offline Learning Day.

We understand it is not ideal to have to cancel in-person learning so soon after returning, but working within the constraints of the OCHD, government guidelines and vaccine requirements, we find this the only manageable way to get vaccines administered in the required timeframe.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

As we return to in-person instruction we understand that there are situations that may require us to be out of school, either with or without the support of teachers or staff members. Inclement weather, power outages or staffing issues may occur and require us to change our instructional plans with limited warning. When we find it necessary to call off in-person school for the day, there are three scenarios that are possible:

Snow Day/inclement weather day: On these days when we have snow or ice that prevent OCS from holding in-person school, school will be cancelled for both in-person and VLA. OCS would utilize make-up days as designated on the calendar.

NTI Days: Students will participate in a day of school through remote NTI learning. VLA would continue with their regular schedules. This day of district distance learning would not result in using a designated make-up day on the school calendar.
 
Offline Learning Day: These are special situations when students would learn at home independently. Rather than participate in remote learning, students will complete 4 of the activities found on the Offline Learning Day Choice Boards. You will find these boards on your school’s website as well as the district website. An Offline Learning Day applies to ALL students (in-person and VLA). Offline Learning Days will not result in utilizing a make-up day on the school calendar.

When school is called off, the message you receive will indicate the type of day being used and whether or not the day would result in utilizing a make-up day on the school calendar. 

Thank you for your continued flexibility this school year.

We are partnering with the Oldham County Health Department to help contact trace within the school population. This partnership is designed to provide quicker notifications for quarantines and help curb further spread of the virus.

A number of district personnel have been trained in contact tracing methods by the OCHD. When the school district receives a report of a positive COVID-19 test result for an employee or student, our trained staff members will gather information from teachers and principals to determine which coworkers or classmates were in close contact with the positive case. District personnel will then contact those persons to notify them of the exposure, and identify the date on which the student or staff member may safely return to school.

If you receive a call from district personnel advising that your child needs to quarantine, please comply with their direction. Please be aware that district employees are not trained to answer questions regarding health concerns, or to make recommendations regarding quarantines of family members other than the exposed student. Employees do not have additional information on specific cases, including who tested positive.

If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 virus, testing, or quarantine, please contact your doctor’s office or the Oldham County Health Department.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

For the remainder of the school year, breakfast and lunch will continue to be offered at no cost to students. Students must take a complete meal. Extra items may be purchased if there is money in their account. Middle and high students on the A/B schedule are offered meals to take home for the days that they are not in-person.

Meals for VLA students will continue to be offered for pick up at La Grange Elementary and Crestwood Elementary from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. If school is not in session on a Monday, then pick up will be on Tuesday of that week.

We are pleased there has been a decrease in our community spread numbers over the past several days. This provides a more manageable environment for in-person instruction.

We have been in communication with the Oldham County Health Department and have their backing to resume in-person instruction, as they agree that bringing students back into this controlled environment may help curb community spread. Therefore, we will resume in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 19 (school is not in session Monday, January 18). We will return to the A/B schedule for middle and high and the normal schedule for preschool and elementary students. 

We are also pleased OCHD will be receiving COVID-19 vaccinations for school employees ahead of schedule, with half the doses for OCS employees coming next week and the other half the following week. 

We are waiting for a schedule from the health department on when these shots can be administered. There will be additional communication sent once that schedule is set by the health department, as it could impact the school schedule.

As a reminder, Tuesday, January 19 is a B day for middle and high. A day students will complete remote work that day. A link to the A/B schedule, including a printable version, can be found at https://www.oldham.kyschools.us/Content2/a-b-schedule

Community spread numbers, which do not include positive cases at long-term care facilities or detention centers, can be found on our website at https://www.oldham.kyschools.us/mc/COVID-19-Report

Bus riders, please check e-Link for updated pick-up and drop-off information, as times may have changed since November. 

https://versatransweb04.tylertech.com/Oldham/elinkrp/Login.aspx

We will continue to monitor the numbers and stay in contact with the health department to determine the best course of action for the district and will communicate to you if our course needs to change.

Thank you for your continued flexibility.


Dear OCS community,

During the COVID pandemic, planning for a successful return to in-person instruction has hinged on removing emotion from the decision and considering the reality based on current numbers and our previous experiences. As we look at reopening in person following the holiday break, we will continue following that process.

Fortunately we have a great partnership with the Oldham County Health Department and appreciate their expertise and guidance in the area of public health. Throughout this pandemic we have worked closely with the OCHD to design and implement mitigation strategies, share data, and inform our community. After consulting with the OCHD this week, we have decided that a successful return to in-person instruction is unlikely on January 11. At this time we are postponing in-person student attendance for at least one week. We will continue to review the numbers with the local health department on a weekly basis and make a determination on returning to in-person attendance no later than Thursday evening for the following week. We believe that the high number of cases we are seeing this week is due to holiday activities, and we expect the impact in our community to lessen over the next 7 days.

Oldham County’s incidence rate reported by the state includes outbreaks at the correctional institutes and the long term care (LTC) facilities within the county lines. However, our local health department provides us with community spread data that omits those cases. On January 5, 2021, the state incidence rate for Oldham County was 94.7 per 100,000 residents. Our local incidence rate, excluding the correctional institute and LTC cases, was 53.25 per 100,000 residents. Over the past seven days, Oldham County has averaged approximately 36 positive test results per day, some of some of which have been our staff and students.

When we transitioned to NTI in November, Oldham County was averaging between 25 and 30 positive cases per day. The impact of community spread seeping into the schools resulted in a high number of staff being quarantined for 14 days. This resulted in a shortage of school staff necessary to safely conduct in-person school operations. Returning to in-person instruction while the county incidence rate is this high would likely be unsuccessful in the long term. When students and staff return to in-person instruction, it is our goal to remain in-person for an extended period of time.  

While the majority of students, parents, and staff want to be back in person, we must do so in a manner that has risk mitigation at its core and offers a reasonable chance at success. There will be some districts that will return earlier than Oldham County, and some that will return later or not at all. Our success in the fall was not based on what others did, but on what was best for our community and school system.

For transparency we will post the community numbers on a daily basis, much like we do with our positive results from the schools. This will begin on Monday, January 11th and will be located at https://www.oldham.kyschools.us/mc/COVID-19-Report.

To remain in-person during surges in positive cases and quarantines, the district needs an adequate pool of substitute teachers. If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher for OCS, please visit https://www.oldham.kyschools.us/Content2/employment-opportunities  to view the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher, or apply at https://www.applitrack.com/oldham/onlineapp/.

As always, I implore you to do your part by wearing a mask when in public, social distancing at all times, washing your hands, and following all other public health guidelines so we can get our students back in school as soon as possible.

Respectfully,

Greg Schultz

On December 18, 2020, Governor Beshear issued an Executive Order concerning the reopening of school buildings for in-person instruction after January 4, 2021. The Order requires school districts to consult with their local health departments regarding community spread and its impact on reopening schools. We have been in close contact with the Oldham County Health Department throughout the fall and are currently working with the OCHD on our plans to resume in-person instruction. The risk mitigation efforts put in place by OCS during the fall and spring of 2020 will continue throughout the spring of 2021, as will the Virtual Learning Academy. The OCHD is reviewing our plan, along with current community-wide COVID-19 numbers, with a goal of providing feedback and recommendations by Thursday, January 7.

At this time, we plan to return to instruction on Monday, January 11. Middle school and high school students will continue on the A/B schedule through April 2. That updated A/B schedule, including a printable version, can be found on our website at https://www.oldham.kyschools.us/Content2/a-b-schedule  
Elementary students and preschool students would return on a regular schedule.

As we know, this remains a fluid situation and we will continually review not only the community spread numbers, but our ability to operate school in a safe manner. We appreciate your continued flexibility and hope to have our students back in the building as soon as possible.

You will receive an additional communication from the district regarding reopening plans after we receive feedback from the Oldham County Health Department later this week.


2020

December 2020


December 30, 2020 Reminder: Monday, Jan. 4th, is a Teacher Work Day & NTI class schedules will resume on Jan. 5th


Reminder: Monday, January 4, is a Teacher Work Day. NTI class schedules will resume on January 5.

We will return to in-person instruction on January 11 with middle and high schools on the A/B schedule and elementary & preschool on their normal daily schedule.


December 28, 2020 Update: Change to feeding sites for week of January 4, 2021


CHANGE TO FEEDING SITES FOR THE WEEK OF JANUARY 4, 2021

For the week of January 4, pick up and delivery of meals will be on Tuesday (instead of Monday), and Thursday. Any child between the ages of 2 and 18 is encouraged to participate. Children are not required to be in the car to receive the meal.

Locations for drive-thru pick-up:

  • North Oldham High School - in front of the school
  • Crestwood Elementary - behind the school in the car rider loop
  • Kenwood Station Elementary - in front of the school
  • La Grange Elementary - behind the school
  • Oldham County Middle School - in the front parking lot
  • Centerfield Elementary - in front of the school

If you have any questions, please contact our Nutrition Services Department at 502-241-3500.


December 18, 2020 Update: Governor requests districts to delay in-person instruction until January 11, 2021   


I wish I had more concrete information to relay to you on how school will resume in January. At this time, Governor Beshear has requested that districts delay the return of in-person instruction until January 11 to allow for a potential spike in the virus following the Christmas holiday.

Because the Kentucky Department of Education has informed us the governor may issue additional executive orders regarding the reopening of schools in the coming week, and we do not have that information in a timely fashion before staff and students enter the holiday break, we will resume in person instruction on January 11. The impending executive order could impact how we conduct school moving forward and we must have planning time to ensure we follow the order while still getting back with our students in a face-to-face environment. We also are required to work with our local health department, as we have done all year, to get their clearance from a public health standpoint for our return. Thus, NTI will resume on January 5 (Monday, January 4 is a Teacher Work Day) with the plan to return to in-person instruction the following week. At this time, we plan to continue to operate preschool and elementary schools on the normal schedule and middle and high schools will resume the A/B schedule on the 11th. If things change once the governor issues his executive order, we will let you know as soon as possible.

For those coming back to in-person from VLA at the middle or high level and need to know if you are on the A or B schedule, this can be found in your Infinite Campus parent or student portal in the “Today” section under “Blended Learning Group.”

As always, our goal has been to have as much in-person instruction as possible this school year. Please continue to do your part to curb community spread by masking up, washing hands, and limiting social gatherings. 

We also ask that you please continue to report positive test results to your child’s school so we can have accurate numbers. OCS Daily Covid-19 Report  

Thank you, and have a safe and relaxing break.

Greg Schultz


December 11, 2020 Update: Centerfield Elementary will not be serving meals next week - No meal service over break

 

Centerfield Elementary will not be serving meals next week, Monday, December 14 and Thursday, December 17. Please go to any of our other feeding sites from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on these days to receive meals.

  • North Oldham High School
  • Crestwood Elementary
  • Kenwood Station Elementary
  • La Grange Elementary
  • Oldham County Middle School

Reminder: all feeding sites will not operate over winter break.

Please click here for more information about Emergency Feeding Sites

 


December 9, 2020 Update: All levels will stay in NTI until Tuesday, January 5th

 

Oldham County is still firmly in the red category in regards to community spread, so we can’t bring elementary and preschool students back into the buildings on December 14 as we had hoped, due to Governor Beshear’s Executive Order. All levels will stay in NTI until Tuesday, January 5 (Reminder: Monday, January 4 is a Teacher Work Day). December 18 is our last instructional day before winter break.

When we are back in session in January, we will need more substitute teachers at the ready to fill teacher absences. If you are interested, please visit Employment Opportunities to view the requirements to become a substitute teacher and Oldham County Schools - Frontline Recruitment to apply.

As always, our goal has been to have as much in-person instruction as possible this school year. Please continue to do your part to curb community spread by masking up, washing hands, and limiting social gatherings.

We also ask that you please continue to report positive test results to your child’s school so we can have accurate numbers. Thank you.


December 2, 2020 Update: NTI Extended for Elementary and Preschool Students


As December 7 approaches, we realize that we won’t be able to welcome our elementary and preschool students back into our buildings yet. Part of Governor Beshear’s Executive Order states that a county must drop out of “red” (meaning less than 25 cases per 100,000 population) for elementary students to be able return to in-person school. Our current numbers have us firmly in the red category. Although we want students back in the buildings, we will continue to follow the order. It is not a recommendation this time around, and we risk legal ramifications and the professional certification of our teachers if we were to try to defy the order.  

Although it doesn’t look promising, we will continue to monitor the positivity rate to see if we are able to bring elementary and preschool students back on Monday, December 14. That decision and communication will be made on December 9 or 10.

Per the Executive Order, middle and high will stay in NTI through Tuesday, January 5 (Reminder: Monday, January 4 is a Teacher Work Day, a non-instruction day for students). 

As always, our goal has been to have as much in-person instruction as possible this school year. Please continue to do your part to curb community spread by masking up, washing hands, and limiting social gatherings. 

We also ask that you please continue to report positive test results to your child’s school so we can have accurate numbers. Thank you.


November 2020


November 19, 2020 Update: All OCS winter sports and extra-curricular activities paused until December 14th


Tonight at midnight, OCS will pause all winter sports and extra-curricular activities until Monday, December 14.

Fall sports can continue post-season play only at this time.

This is per KHSAA regulations.


November 19, 2020 Update: OCS middle & high schools remain virtual until January 4th


Dear OCS Community,

As you are aware, Governor Beshear made some important announcements yesterday that impact Kentucky schools. Unlike past requests, which have been recommendations, the governor has signed an executive order and we are bound legally to comply.

The order states that middle and high schools must remain virtual until January 4 (On the OCS calendar, January 4 is a scheduled teacher work day, with students returning on January 5). Elementary and Preschool students may return on December 7 IF Oldham County is not in the red zone (red zone means the county has 25 or more average daily cases per 100,000 population). This incident rate map can be found at https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19

We are still allowed to bring in small groups for specialized instruction, as we have been doing during our periods of NTI.

We are still awaiting clarification on sports. Once we receive that guidance from KHSAA or the governor’s office, we will share that information.

We will continue with our emergency feeding schedule. Please refer to our website or Facebook page for more information.

We still ask that you call the school if your child tests positive for COVID-19 or is placed in quarantine. We are required to report these numbers to the state and will continue to post the number of COVID-19 positive students and staff on our website.

Virus mitigation efforts require the support of our entire state. Please continue to practice social distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitization. When all Kentuckians respond united, we are more likely to quickly decrease the spread of COVID-19 and resume in-person instruction as quickly as possible.

Greg Schultz
Superintendent


November 11, 2020 Update: Free Meal Program for Children Ages 2-18 during NTI


Oldham County Schools will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch during periods of NTI. Currently, NTI is scheduled between Friday, November 13 and Friday, December 4. Any child between the ages of 2 and 18 is encouraged to participate.

This Friday, November 13, feeding sites will be open for drive-thru service from 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  

After Friday, feeding sites will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Monday and Thursday.  On Mondays students will receive three days worth of food. On Thursdays students will receive two days worth of food. Meals are only provided for days that school is in session. Children are not required to be in the car to receive the meal.

Locations for drive-thru pick-up:

  • North Oldham High School - in front of the school
  • Crestwood Elementary - behind the school in the car rider loop
  • Kenwood Station Elementary - in front of the school
  • LaGrange Elementary - behind the school
  • Oldham County Middle School - in the front parking lot
  • Centerfield Elementary - in front of the school

If you are unable to participate or have extreme circumstances that prevent you from attending one of the six drive-thru sites, there will be limited delivery service. Delivery service must be prearranged by accessing and completing this form by Friday, November 13th.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScMv0SQnE0dskbsq2GQXu-QSV9yhTVrJdSF2HItETfQp7Bd0A/viewform

By completing this form you are requesting delivery of meals for all five days of food distribution. Deliveries will arrive between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

If you have any questions, please contact our Nutrition Services Department at 502-241-3500.


November 9, 2020 Update: Transition to full NTI on November 13


As you may know, Oldham County has moved into the red category on the state’s Covid-19 Incident Rate map, having at least 25 average daily Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period. We are also seeing a growing number of cases and quarantines among both students and staff at this time. Due to these factors, we will transition to full NTI on Friday, November 13 and stay in NTI through Friday, December 4. During this time, school enrichment centers will also be closed in order to curb any potential spread of the virus.

During the week of November 30, our staff, in conjunction with the Oldham County Health Department, will reevaluate the county and school Covid-19 numbers. The decision to resume in-person instruction or continue on NTI will be made and communicated to you no later than Thursday, December 3. If we remain in the red category but do not see a sizable increase in the county incident rate, we may consider returning to in-person instruction. We are continually monitoring the numbers of staff and students with positive cases and the numbers of those in quarantine to inform our decisions. For this reason, it is imperative that parents report positive test results and quarantines to their school during NTI. This data will influence the decision to return to in-person instruction while Oldham County is in the red category, or to remain in NTI.

As a reminder, VLA students will remain on their VLA schedule during this time. Students who selected a change to in-person or VLA enrollment for the second trimester will receive a separate email. Regular season games will be suspended for OCS athletics, but practices can continue. During this period of increased community spread, we ask that you follow Covid-19 guidelines such as limiting social gatherings, staying home when ill, quarantining if exposed to a person who tests positive, and wearing facial coverings when out in the community. Doing these things will greatly increase the likelihood of lowering our incidence rate and continuing in-person instruction.

Information on school nutrition sponsored feeding sites will be emailed soon.

 


October 2020


October 30, 2020 Update: Transportation Request Form Reminder   


IF your child is returning to in-person instruction from VLA for the second trimester AND needs bus transportation, you will need to fill out a transportation request form and return it to your child’s school. These must be turned in by November 6. Even if you filled out a transportation form before school started, you must complete a new one.


October 29, 2020 Update: Calendar Year Update & Reminders from Superintendent  


Dear OCS Community,

I would like to give you an update on the rest of the calendar year and share a couple of reminders.

The A/B schedule will continue for middle and high schools through at least January 15. We will reevaluate the situation in early January to see if we can return to a regular schedule. Our goal has always been to have as much face-to-face instruction as possible, as long as it’s wise to do so given the ongoing situation with COVID.

If you wish to change enrollment for your child for the second trimester, the deadline is Sunday, November 1 at 11:59 p.m. Reminder: this is ONLY IF YOU WANT TO SWITCH from in-person to VLA or from VLA to in-person. Here is the link to the change form: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScqIor3srreose487oiDnA5gReM5n5XYjEYWiA-Kafselnc-Q/viewform

Once enrollment has closed and we know our in-person elementary class size numbers, we will then be able to make a decision on whether we need to move to an A/B schedule at the elementary level or continue on our current path with minor alterations. We are exploring a multitude of options to keep elementary students in the classroom as much as possible.

Finally, please remember to call your child’s school within 24 hours if they test positive for Covid-19. We must report these numbers to the state, and we also update them on our website each day school is in session. You can find the district’s daily report at https://www.oldham.kyschools.us/mc/COVID-19-Report

As always, thank you for your continued patience and support as we work through these unprecedented times.

Greg Schultz
Superintendent
Oldham County Schools


October 29, 2020 Update: Deadline to switch into or out of VLA is SUNDAY NOV. 1   


Enrollment form

REMINDER: Only fill out the form if you are wanting to make a change from VLA to in-person or from in-person to VLA.

OCS Enrollment Options for @nd Trimester - ends Sunday, Nov. 1st


October 28, 2020 Update: A/B Schedule Reminder   


A-B Schedule Reminder for Students


October 19, 2020 Update: Fall Break   


OCS Fall Break - Monday, October 19 - Friday, October 23


October 16, 2020 Update: COVID-19 Travel Advisory Reminder   


As you may know, a Travel Advisory, issued by Governor Beshear, is ongoing for citizens traveling to states reporting a COVID-19 positive test rate of 15% or greater. States in the travel advisory can change at any time and that list can be found at: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19

You should know that if your student travels to one of the states on the advisory list, we ask that you follow the governor’s recommendation to self-quarantine your student(s) for 14-days prior to returning to school. This includes any after school activities or sports.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 


October 12, 2020 Update: Trimester II Enrollment Now OPEN   


The enrollment period for Trimester 2 is now open.
Link to the enrollment form 
Reminder: This form is to be used by parent(s)/guardian(s) only if they wish to change their child's enrollment beginning the first day of the 2nd trimester: Monday, November 23, 2020.

El período de inscripción para el Trimestre 2 ya está abierto.
Aquí hay un enlace al formulario de inscripción
Utilice este formulario solo si desea cambiar la inscripción de su hijo para el segundo trimestre, que comienza el lunes 23 de noviembre de 2020.


September 2020


September 28, 2020 Update:  Welcome Back Middle & High School Students!  

 

Middle and High School students on the “A” schedule return for in-person instruction on Monday, September 28.
Middle and High School students on the “B” schedule return for in-person instruction on Tuesday, September 29. 
For more information about the A/B schedule, please visit https://www.oldham.kyschools.us/Content2/a-b-schedule 

WLKY visited SOMS this week to see how the A/B schedule works for our middle and high schools.


September 24, 2020 Update:  Free Breakfast and Lunch (ages 2-18) until Dec.31  


As our learning platforms change, OCS will continue to offer free breakfast and lunch to any child between the ages of 2 and 18 until December 31, 2020. Please note upcoming changes to distribution and pick-up.

OCS Feeding Sites

 


September 21, 2020 Update:  Tax Rate Hearing  


Tax Rate Hearing
Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
Arvin Education Center, 1650 Colonels Drive, La Grange

The pandemic has forced us to make many difficult decisions this year about when and how to open schools safely. Now we face another difficult decision – the need for a tax increase.

In my time as superintendent, I have only asked for tax increases when they were truly needed. Once to fund the placement of full-time School Resource Officers in all of our schools; another for a small, but overdue increase in staff salaries. This time, the request for an increase stems purely from the unexpected expenses we have incurred due to the pandemic and our commitment to return to in-person instruction as soon as possible.

When we made the decision early in the summer to return to face-to-face instruction, we knew we needed to create a virtual option to reduce in-person class size and to protect our vulnerable families. We developed our Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) to serve both groups. This new way of learning comes with new, unanticipated costs. With an enrollment of more than 3000 students, we needed to hire 36 teachers to staff the VLA. Along with the software platforms purchased to run the academy, the total cost is $2.6 million for this school year. Although costly, it was undoubtedly the right decision to protect our students, our staff, and our community.

State budget cuts in the past, and projected in the future, have placed an unprecedented burden on local school districts. While we have used our contingency fund to cover many expenses, we cannot drain it. As the pandemic continues to impact every part of our society, the long-term consequences are still unknown. The state budget that was approved last session only covered one year. The second-year budget has not been determined and we expect it to be lean, resulting in local districts carrying even more. Our commitment to the community demands that we prepare to shoulder additional unanticipated costs.

I am asking for an increase that would result in 4% more revenue on the same property as last year to cover these additional expenses related to VLA and our new in-person model. What this means is an extra $12 per $100,000 of assessed property value on your tax bill for property which doesn’t have a change in value. 

We continually look for ways to cut the budget, save money wherever possible and remain good stewards of taxpayer money. We appreciate the community’s continued support as we navigate these unknown waters.


Respectfully,

Greg Schultz, Superintendent

 


September 18, 2020 Update:  Transportation Update 


Due to Covid related regulations regarding bus transportation, bus notes will not be allowed for any student until further notice. This means students may only ride the bus to which they are assigned. In addition, students may only get off the bus at their assigned afternoon stop.

We would also like to remind you that students must wear a mask at the bus stop and on the bus and please ask your children to use the hand sanitizer located on the bus when boarding.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.


September 16, 2020 Update:  First Day Back to School In-Person for Elementary Students 


It was a great first day back to school in-person for elementary.

Thanks to our staff, students, parents and community for your patience and support!


September 15, 2020 Update:  Face Covering Reminder


All staff & students (K-12) must wear face coverings unless there is a medical exception/disability waiver.

You may lower face coverings while actively eating/drinking or when outdoors & socially distanced.

Vented masks are not allowed.  More information

Does my face covering make the grade?


September 10, 2020 Update:  A/B Placements for Middle and High Students


A/B placements are out for middle and high students. Please check your email for placement. This information cannot currently be found in Infinite Campus.


September 4, 2020 Update:  Re-opening Schools to In-Person Instruction

 

Dear OC Community,

After careful consideration, including consultation with the Oldham County Health Department, we are ready to reopen some of our schools to in-person instruction. Therefore, all OCS elementary schools will resume on their normal M-F schedule starting on Wednesday, September 16. Preschool will reopen for face-to-face instruction on September 21.

At this time, the plan remains the same for middle and high schools to reopen on an A/B schedule on September 28. If you are enrolled in VLA, you will remain in VLA for this trimester and there will be no change to your schedule.

So why now and why only elementary schools? The Oldham County Health Department continues to report a manageable number of positive Covid19 cases in the county. Elementary school students are at lower levels of risk due to their limited social interactions compared to most secondary students, and benefit most from in-person instruction. We believe this is the right first step towards getting back to as much in-person instruction as possible this school year for all students.

We will be implementing the strict health and safety guidelines that we announced earlier this summer, including temperature checks upon arrival, face coverings at all times, frequent hand washing, and increased cleaning protocols. Please note that the new Healthy at School guidelines announced on 8/31 require face masks at all times in school buildings and on buses, even when 6 feet of social distancing can be accomplished. The only exceptions are when actively drinking or eating, or when outside and practicing appropriate social distancing.

For more information on the safety measures OCS has put in place for returning to school, visit https://sites.google.com/oldham.kyschools.us/return-to-school-plan/traditional-school.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility. We look forward to welcoming our K-5 students back on the 16th with Preschool students the following Monday.

Quick video explanation on why we are making this decision:


August 2020


August 24, 2020 Update:  First Day of 2020-21 School Year - NTI & VLA

OCS NTI VLA

No smiling faces leaping off the school bus. No tearful parents waking their kindergarteners to their class. No students greeting each other with enthusiastic hugs and stories after a summer apart. Today is a first day unlike any other in our history. But for the staff of OCS, the spirit remains the same. The excitement, nervousness and dedication to student success is there, perhaps even more so than a typical year. We look forward to the day we can have our first day all over again and relive all these emotions in-person.


August 21, 2020 Update:  OCS Athletics Update


Until we receive further guidance from KHSAA and approval of that guidance from the governor, state and local health departments, OCS will continue in phase 3 of the OCS Athletic Plan. This is the phase we are currently in, and all current guidelines will stay in place with the following exceptions: Available practice hours will be extended from 6 to 7.5 hours/week. Football may now practice with helmets.

Thank you for your understanding as we wait for official documentation and approval on how to move forward with athletics.


August 19, 2020 Update:  VLA Orientations


Dr. Dylan Smith will be hosting VLA orientations to share information and answer your questions about our K-5 and 6-12 VLA platforms for the start of the school year. These orientations will also be recorded and published to our VLA website for families to access: https://sites.google.com/oldham.kyschools.us/vla/home  

Elementary VLA Orientation (Virtual)
Wednesday, August 19 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
https://meet.google.com/set-kgku-icu

Secondary VLA Orientation (Virtual)
Wednesday, August 19 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
https://meet.google.com/set-kgku-icu


August 18, 2020 Update:  VLA & NTI Information


We are less than a week away from the beginning of the 2020/2021 school year, and although we will be starting the year with NTI (or VLA for those enrolled in that program) our staff is eager to get the year started!

So how will NTI be different from what we experienced in the spring? It will be a more streamlined experience for students and parents with fewer programs and apps to keep up with. Our hybrid model of both synchronous and asynchronous instruction affords students time each day to build relationships with classmates and teachers through face-to-face interactions as well as the flexibility to work at their own pace throughout the day and/or revisit material independently or with a family member or support staff if extra support is needed.

Our Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning, Dr. Dylan Smith, gives an overview of what you can expect during NTI at both the elementary and secondary level in videos you can watch here:

NTI at the Elementary Level video: https://youtu.be/jYfO_KE7ioc

NTI at the Secondary Level video: https://youtu.be/3AZk7yhYJ5g

Our staff has worked tirelessly to make NTI a robust learning experience and we hope your students are ready to jump in with the eagerness and enthusiasm our staff has as we forge ahead into the new school year.


August 11, 2020 Update:  Changes for the start of 2020-21 School Year


Yesterday, Governor Andy Beshear strongly recommended all Kentucky schools not reopen for in-person instruction until September 28 due to the pandemic. This decision was endorsed by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky School Board.

This is the first time, despite asking for months, that the state has given a metric to abide by when looking at the Covid numbers. August 10th was the first mention, to my knowledge, of Dr. Stack proclaiming a 6% positivity rate being too high to safely go back to face-to-face instruction. Until this time we have, as superintendents, been advised to review local Covid data and communicate with the local Health Department, which we have done. In conjunction with the Oldham County Health Department, we developed a solid reopening plan. But according to the governor and state epidemiologists, these state positivity numbers indicate this is not the time to return to in-person instruction. Although both I and members of the Board may not like the recommendation, it is not wise or prudent to ignore the recommendation. Since this has moved from a local decision to a statewide decision, if we don’t follow the recommendation, our liability increases to an unacceptable risk.

What this means is that our first day of instruction will remain August 24 (August 31 for OC Preschool), but all students will begin the school year learning from home. If you have enrolled your child(ren) in our Virtual Learning Academy (VLA), they will begin on August 24 in VLA, and continue in that program until at least the end of the first trimester (November 12), when you will have the choice to continue with VLA, or return to in-person instruction. 

For those who were planning for in-person instruction, this means you will begin receiving lessons and assignments from your school teachers on August 24. This is what we refer to as Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI). Your child(ren) will stay on NTI until we are allowed to resume in-person instruction. When we are allowed to resume in-person instruction, we will return under the A/B format for middle and high schools and the regular schedule for elementary schools. At the end of the trimester, you will also have the choice to continue with in-person instruction or enroll in VLA at that time.

To ensure the stability of our schools’ master schedule, we cannot allow students to transfer into or out of VLA until the end of the first trimester. Logistically, this would create major issues and greatly affect staffing in both the VLA and our schools. 

More information regarding NTI will be provided by your child’s school. 

School-based sports and extracurricular activities can continue with the current plan as we await further guidance from KHSAA and other organizations.

Decisions on enrichment centers are pending. Information will be provided in the coming days.

Thank you for your understanding, patience and flexibility. 


August 4, 2020 Update:  A/B Schedule for Middle and High Schools


We initially planned to split the AB schedule by alphabet but upon further research, we have discovered a more equitable way to divide. We will use an algorithm on Infinite Campus that will divide by household. This will give us a much more accurate split per class, per school and per campus. You will be notified whether your child(ren) are on the A schedule or B schedule in the coming days. Reminder: This is only for middle school and high school.


August 3, 2020 Update:  Board of Education approves A/B Schedule for MS & HS


The Oldham County Board of Education has approved the creation of an A/B schedule for middle and high schools. More information will be provided in the coming days.


July 2020


July 31, 2020 Update:  Superintendent's Recommendation to adopt A/B Schedule


Dear OC community,

In order to open schools as safely as possible, I feel it is necessary to reduce class sizes in all of our schools. The formation of the Virtual Learning Academy has helped accomplish this goal within the elementary schools in the district, but I continue to have concerns about class sizes in our middle and high schools. Therefore, I will make a recommendation to the Board to adopt an A/B schedule for middle and high schools when the school year begins on August 24.

As a result, middle and high school students will be divided alphabetically by last name, and half of the students will attend school in-person every other day. Students in the “A” group will attend in-person school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during week one, and Monday and Wednesday during week 2. Students in the “ B” group will attend school on Tuesday and Thursday during week one, and Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday during week 2. Each group of students will attend in-person classes for 10 days out of every 20 school days during each 4-week period. Students will be given assignments to complete on the days they are not attending school in-person, which will be collected on the next in-person attendance day.

High school and middle school students in the same Infinite Campus “household” would be assigned to the same “A” or “B” schedule regardless of the students’ last names.

Elementary and preschool students and teachers will remain on their normal in-person weekly schedules.

The A/B schedule option was initially considered early in the summer, but was placed on hold as we worked toward reopening in-school instruction on a regular weekly schedule, and creating the VLA option. As conditions surrounding the pandemic have been evolving, we have continually monitored and reevaluated our plans. At this time we feel it is necessary to pursue an A/B schedule strategy in order to return to school with increased risk mitigation for students and staff.

Our goal remains to have as much face-to-face instruction as possible throughout this school year, not only for the academic needs of our students, but for their social-emotional needs and access to all the services our schools provide.

If approved, the school year will begin on an A/B schedule with a goal of moving to a traditional five-day week in-person schedule as soon as it is prudent to do so. We will continually monitor and reevaluate circumstances during the four weeks of A/B instruction, to decide the following four weeks schedule. The A/B schedule will be used as a reentry plan following any return from district wide Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI). At the end of each trimester, families will have an opportunity to change student enrollment from in-person instruction to VLA, or vice versa. At this time it is anticipated that the Virtual Learning Academy will be available for the entire 2020-2021 school year.

If the A/B schedule proposal is approved by the Board, additional details will be communicated in the coming weeks. Your patience is appreciated as we continue to gather more information and respond to your questions.

Board Meeting Details

The Board will meet Monday, August 3 at 4:30 p.m. at the Arvin Education Center. Those wishing to participate in public expression in-person must email inpersonexpression@oldham.kyschools.us prior to 4:30 p.m. on Monday. Speakers must provide their name, home address and a cell phone number where they can receive texts. The order of speakers will be based on the time stamp on the email received. Please arrive by 4:15 p.m. Those wishing to share public expression are to remain in their cars at the Arvin Center until notified via text. Once contacted via text, individuals can enter the building, have their temperature checked and complete the “Healthy at Work” screening survey. Individuals will then wait while masked and properly distanced inside the Arvin Center until it is their turn to speak in front of the Board. Once an individual has given their public expression, they are to exit the building. Only members addressing the Board are to enter the Arvin Center.

Those wishing to email their comments instead of appearing in-person may send their comments to publicexpression@oldham.kyschools.us by 6:00 p.m. on August 2. Emails must contain your name, address and phone number.

Respectfully,

Greg Schultz
Superintendent
Oldham County Schools


July 29, 2020 Update:  Registration Deadline for VLA extended to August 7


The registration deadline for Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) has been extended to August 7. We understand some may be waiting to see if the district starts in Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) before deciding whether or not to enroll. Please be aware that although we expect and are planning for the possibility of going to NTI at some point in this school year, NTI would only be temporary. Our expectation and goal is to be in-person as much of the school year as possible. We still plan to begin the year with the face-to-face and VLA options on August 24. If you don’t feel your child should attend school in person for the first trimester, or at any point in the school year, VLA is the option for you. At the end of a trimester, you can choose to change your enrollment from one type of instruction to the other.

The August 7 deadline is firm and will not be extended past that date. We must have final numbers by then in order to adequately staff both learning options.

You can learn more about VLA, in-person instruction, and frequently asked questions on our website. http://www.oldham.kyschools.us Through this site, you will find a link to register for VLA as well.


July 27, 2020 Update:  OCBE Approves Moving Start Date to August 24


Tonight, the OCBE approved moving the start date for students to Monday, August 24 (August 31 for OC Preschool). Major breaks will remain the same. The last day for students, barring any make-up days, will be June 2. The deadline for enrollment into the Virtual Learning Academy is August 7.

Thank you for your continued flexibility.


July 24, 2020 Update:  Special-Called Board Meeting


Superintendent Greg Schultz opened this afternoon's special-called board meeting with the following statement:

Dear OCS community,

I want to express my thanks for the level of engagement from all regarding this school year. Not every email has been easy to read, but every one has been read, if not responded to. Here is the reality. We are in the midst of a pandemic, hopefully the only one we will face in our lifetimes. This year will not be like any prior year. No matter how hard everyone tries, this is the abject reality.

As Superintendent and as Board members, we cannot adopt the perspective of any one group. Our mission statement says that we will “ensure the learning of all.” That is ambitious, and the right thing to strive for and we are attempting to do this now as we face the realities that COVID 19 have thrust upon us. There are parents, students, and staff who want to start the year - and possibly conduct the entire year - in NTI, face-to-face, and everything in between. Any of the options considered for reopening has unique logistical issues that accompany it. The reopening options become extremely complex because they involve instructional delivery, teacher availability, transportation, technology, school health and safety, and school nutrition. At times, there are no good answers for all of these elements when we look at each option. For that reason, once we start down a path there may be times that we will need to change course because one or more of the logistical issues are virtually unsolvable.

As we proceed down the path to reopening, I am alarmed by the amount of fighting, arguing and demanding on social media and in emails. While parent, teacher, and community input is important, decisions regarding reopening cannot be based on popularity. Our reopening strategy must be grounded in the best instructional practices we can implement correctly considering the realities of in-person, remote, and hybrid learning. I believe under normal circumstances we all would agree that face-to-face instruction is the best possible scenario for students, teachers, and parents. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person instruction will not be the best option for some students, families, and teachers, so we have developed a virtual option. In the short time since the Virtual Learning Academy was announced, the grades 6-12 platform supporting the VLA has been berated by parents and students, even though it is a nationally recognized virtual platform on which many students across this country have had good success. To increase student success, we are putting human resources behind the virtual platform. Yet even with an enhanced virtual platform, remote learning is not, nor can it be, the same as face-to-face instruction. Many of the critics of the virtual learning option are expecting it to be exactly the same education their child would receive in-person, with the exact same course offerings and opportunities. However, a virtual learning environment is not designed to be a replacement for everything a student would receive through a traditional school setting. The VLA is a temporary solution to the obstacles to in-person learning associated with the current global pandemic. We are continuing to tweak the platform and explore means of enhancing the virtual experience to offer a high quality remote education. We recognize that this option will not provide every student with each opportunity they might take advantage of during in-person instruction.

For some families NTI was a great experience last year, and I will continue to praise our teachers and families for doing the best they could under extremely challenging circumstances. But for a lot of families, NTI was not a success for a variety of reasons, many of which were outside the district’s control. We have reflected on areas where we could have done better, while fully recognizing that many issues were a direct result of such an unexpected change with little pre-planning time. We are in a much better place now. However, I also recognize there are outside influences that make NTI difficult for families. Single-parent families, households in which both parents work outside the home, families that were not technologically equipped to fully support student learning, children who required specialized services, and students who needed the socio-emotional support offered in the school are just some of the reasons why the NTI path is difficult. This is not a blame game. This is reality. NTI was never designed for the extended use that we had to implement last year. Under normal circumstances, NTI is authorized only for ten school days when schools are closed due to inclement weather. With the pandemic, there may be times when we have to use expanded NTI days, but we must be mindful of the consequences of doing so. If it becomes necessary to use NTI, we must implement it to the highest standard we can.

As much as everyone, including myself, wants there to be a sense of normalcy for this year and beyond, we must acknowledge that we are in extraordinary times. The novel coronavirus, whether you believe it is a serious pandemic or not, is here in our community, and it is forcing us to make decisions that we would not typically make. This will be the most expensive year ever for operating our school system. Any of the educational options we implement during this unprecedented time will be more costly than a normal school year. We have been successful with our conservative fiscal approach in the past, and are in better financial shape than many districts. However, there are limits on how much we can spend in trying to meet everyone’s wants.

As a community, parents are asked to check their children’s temperatures and review the screening questions everyday before sending their children to school. If the child has a temperature greater than 100.4, they should not come to school. If a child exhibits a temperature greater than 100.4 when they arrive at school or anytime during the school day, they will need to be picked up from school immediately. Now is the time for parents to teach their children the expectations about wearing face masks on the bus and at school and start getting them acclimated. All parents need to plan for this now and cooperate with the guidelines from the CDC and Public Health so that schools can reopen.

I urge everyone to reflect on their expectations with the understanding that there is no playbook for what all of us are experiencing. We need to be as flexible and responsive as possible. More importantly, we need to work together, not against one another, as we try to solve the problems that our school system, and every other school system across this nation and the world are facing.


July 22, 2020 Update:  Superintendent's Message to OCS Community


Dear OCS community,

Friday, I will be recommending to the Oldham County Board of Education that we move the start date of school for students from August 12 to Monday, August 24. The reason I am asking this is threefold.

First, we have a number of teacher openings we need to fill before we can get students in the building. Pushing back the start date will allow us extra time to hire for these positions to ensure we have a full teaching staff to educate our students. Second, although cleaning and sanitizing supplies have been ordered and we expect them to arrive on time, I won’t feel comfortable until we have all the ordered materials in hand. Third, we can’t ignore the increasing COVID numbers in our community. Pushing back the start date to August 24th gives us some wiggle room to monitor the situation and see where numbers go from here.

In addition, we will be presenting a proposal to the Board to change the start and end times of middle and high schools, to allow for intense cleaning of buses between elementary and secondary level runs. I am proposing the school day to run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for middle and high (OCMS would dismiss at 3:55 p.m. and BAHS would be 8:45 a.m. to 3:25 p.m.). Elementary and preschool times would remain the same. This item would then be voted on at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Monday, July 27. Both Board meetings will be viewable on our Youtube channel, which you can access from our website at oldham.kyschools.us

Please know this is not an easy recommendation to make, but it is a necessary effort to ensure we open schools as safely as possible. At this time, it is my intention to still open for in-person instruction on August 24, but as everyone knows, this is a fluid situation that can change rapidly. Patience and flexibility throughout this school year will be crucial and I appreciate the grace you have shown as we make these difficult decisions.

The district will communicate the results of both Board meetings.

Respectfully,

Greg Schultz
Superintendent
Oldham County Schools


July 16, 2020 Update:  Website for OCS Reopening Plan Goes Live


Our website pages devoted to the reopening of school for the 2020/2021 school year goes live at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 16.

In addition to in-person instruction, the Oldham County Board of Education has approved the creation of the OCS Virtual Learning Academy. This option will be available to all students in Oldham County Schools, grades K-12. The Virtual Learning Academy is not available for preschool students. The choice is yours as to whether you send your child(ren) for traditional instruction in the school setting, or enrolling in the Virtual Learning Academy.

You can find much more information on these options at our website: www.oldham.kyschools.us There, you will also find a frequently asked questions page which will hopefully clear up many of the previous unknowns regarding our Virtual Learning Academy. Please check this page regularly, as it will be added to and updated frequently. **This website will go live at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 16**

What do you need to do if your child(ren) will attend school in-person? Nothing, as long as you have completed the normal online registration via Infinite Campus. If you choose to send your child(ren) to the Virtual Learning Academy, all you need to do at this time is fill out the simple registration form, which can be found on our website. (You also should have completed normal registration via Infinite Campus before enrolling in the VLA).

The OCBE also approved a policy to require students in grades K-12 to wear a mask in school, when 6 feet of social distancing is not possible, unless the student has a medical or disability exemption. On our website, you will find many of the other steps OCS is taking to ensure the safest learning environment for our students and staff.

We truly thank you for your patience as we have worked out the details of our Virtual Learning Academy and in-person instruction. We know this is a stressful time for everyone but we remain committed to providing the best possible educational experience for your child in these unusual circumstances.


July 14, 2020 Update:  OCBE Approves Creation of Virtual Learning Academy


OCBE approves creation of Virtual Learning Academy. This will be an option along with in-person instruction. Details on the academy will be released Thursday.


July 14, 2020 Update:  OCBE Special-Called Board Meeting


The OCBE will hold a special-called meeting Tuesday, July 14 at 4:30 at the Arvin Education Center to vote on changes to the dress code (masks) and to vote on a Virtual Learning Academy. Public expression will be allowed, after a presentation by the OCS Reopening Committee. Please note that public expression is not a question and answer session. There are many questions regarding the details of school reopening and the Virtual Learning Academy. OCS will be releasing details on both in the coming days.

Anyone within to sign up for in-person public expression must email inpersonexpression@oldham.kyschools.us prior to the beginning of public expression, which is expected to begin at approximately 6:00 p.m. on July 14th. Individuals must provide their name, home address and cell number where they can receive texts. Order of public expression will be based on the time stamp on the email received. Those wishing to share public expression are to remain in their cars at the Arvin Center until contacted via text. Please arrive between 5:00 - 6:00 in order to complete a health survey and temperature check. Once contacted via text, individuals can enter the building, have their temperature checked and fill in the Healthy at Work screening survey. Individuals will then wait while masked and properly distanced inside the Arvin Center until it is their turn to speak in front of the Board. Once an individual has given their public expression, they are to exit the building. Public expression will be limited to one to two minutes per individual, depending on the total number of speakers. Only members addressing the Board are to enter the Arvin Center.

The following public expression guidelines will be in place for the meeting:

1. Appearance - The Board will designate a portion of each regular meeting to hear public comment concerning matters within the Board’s authority.

2. Types of matters to come before the Board in general should be policy matters or specific matters governed by the Board; rather than administrative, or matters required by statute.

3. All persons wishing to speak during Public Expression must register prior to Public Expression. Registration is an acknowledgement that the speaker is familiar with and will be bound by the Public Expression policy.

4. Materials intended for consideration by the members should be left with the secretary at the time of registration. No materials are to be distributed directly to Board members or to others in attendance at the meeting.

5. Any group appearing before the Board shall select a spokesperson who shall address the Board. Other members of the group may do so with the permission of the Chairman. Persons who have signed up to speak may decline to speak when their name is called but individuals may not yield their allotted time to other registered speakers.

6. Presentation shall be limited to three minutes unless otherwise indicated by the Chairman in order to maintain the order of the meeting.

7. The Board encourages interested persons to address concerns in an appropriate manner, to the Board. Presentations to the Board are expected to be courteous, civil and respectful. The Board will address speakers using the same standard of behavior. The Board reserves the right to limit or terminate discussion on any subject introduced by an individual or group in order to maintain order.

8. Although Public Expression is not a question and answer session, the Board reserves the right to provide a response from any Board member or Superintendent following a speaker’s presentation or at the conclusion of Public Expression.

9. Public criticism of individual staff members, or individual Board members is prohibited. Concerns about individual staff members should be directed to the staff member or his or her immediate supervisor. Since no individual Board member may act on behalf of the Board, concerns about action of the Board should be directed to the Board as a whole.


July 10, 2020 Update:  Superintendent's Message to OCS Families


Dear OCS families,

In keeping with our timeline towards reopening, the Oldham County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, July 14th at 4:30 p.m. at the Arvin Education Center. The focus of this board meeting will be the presentation of the draft plan to reopen schools. The meeting will be live-streamed and the link to view the meeting will be posted on the district’s home page several hours before the beginning of the meeting.

I will be asking the board to approve two items at this meeting. The first will be the creation of a Virtual Learning Academy as an option for families who feel unable or uncomfortable returning to in-person instruction this fall. The second will be to approve a temporary policy mandating wearing face coverings for all staff and students (1st through 12th grade) when social distancing cannot be maintained, unless there is a medical condition or disability that would prevent them from wearing a face covering.

At the end of the 2019-20 school year, the district created a Reopening Task Force. This task force is composed of 10 subcommittees with over 100 members all working toward the common goal of developing a comprehensive reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year. This will be a year like no other, as we open schools during a worldwide pandemic. Over the past 5 weeks, countless hours have been spent reviewing and developing plans for every area of school operations. We have sought guidance from the health department throughout the process and our recommendations will be presented to the board at Tuesday’s meeting. After the board suggests their changes to recommendations, we will seek further input from the health department in order to have a final plan approved at the July 27th board meeting.

Again, the board will not take action on anything other than the virtual academy and temporary mask policy at the July 14th meeting.

We will have a portion of the meeting set aside for in-person public expression. Public expression will be conducted in accordance with the state “Healthy at Work” guidance. Depending on the number of persons who wish to address the board, I anticipate that each speaker will be allocated between 1-3 minutes to share their thoughts. Recognizing that reopening schools is at the forefront of everyones’ minds, and that many of our families are not comfortable gathering in public at this time, we have created an email address dedicated to receiving comments and questions in advance of the meeting. To allow the Board sufficient time to review messages prior to the board meeting, we have set a deadline of 6:00 p.m. Monday, July 13th.

Please use the following email address if you would like to send in your public expression: PublicExpression@oldham.kyschools.us You will need to include your name, home address and phone number with your comments.

The ”Healthy at Work” rules for in-person public expression will be posted by close of the business day on Monday.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

Respectfully,

Greg Schultz
Superintendent
Oldham County Schools


July 2, 2020 Update:  Reopening Plan Update for OCS Community


Dear OCS community,

As we head into the July 4th holiday weekend, I wanted to give you an update on reopening plans for Oldham County Schools.

First, school districts in Kentucky don’t have to follow the same calendar, and there is flexibility on how to operate schools. You may be seeing on the news that some local districts are pushing back the start of school and are wondering if OCS will follow suit. We still plan on starting with in-person instruction on August 12. We will be ready to welcome students back into our buildings at that time. Of course, if the environment of the pandemic in our area changes between now and then, that could change, but we continue to press on with that August 12 date.

After reviewing different options, we plan to continue with a normal school week while following the expectations laid out in the Healthy at Schools guidance document to the best of our abilities and are not considering an A/B schedule that rotates students in and out of the school.

We have a committee developing a Virtual Learning Academy. Details on that and the rest of our reopening plan will be released later this month.

As a reminder, if you haven’t already filled out the parent survey that was sent out last week, please do so by July 5. https://forms.gle/MmiKjVAnThH62TRY6

Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

Respectfully,

Greg Schultz
Superintendent
Oldham County Schools


June 2020


June 23, 2020 Update:  Reopening Update & Task Force


Dear OCS community,

This is the second letter concerning reopening Oldham County Schools. There is still much work to be done on the plan and we still do not have solid guidance from the state. However, we are going to forge ahead, develop a plan and work with our local Health Department to validate that plan.

Our Reopening Task Force is currently addressing the following topics:

Transportation
Facilities
Virtual Learning
Student and staff wellness and safety
Technology
School Food Service
Daily operations within the school building
Working with families with health concerns

We will be sending a survey out to parents and staff soon to get the pulse of our stakeholders. Please take the time to complete and submit once that reaches you.

Our timeline is to work through the process of Board review and feedback, Health Department review and feedback and finally Board approval by the July 27th OCBE meeting.

Once we have a final plan we will communicate this to all stakeholders. At this time our goal remains to reopen schools on August 12th.

Please understand that we are still in the midst of a very fluid situation with the COVID pandemic. We will do our best to develop a solid plan with many built in options to provide us as much flexibility to reopen schools in as normal fashion as possible while still ensuring the health and wellness of students and staff.

Respectfully,

Greg Schultz
Superintendent
Oldham County Schools


June 12, 2020 Update:  OCS Athletics Update


Local control was given by the KHSAA in determining how, and when, middle and high school athletics would be opened up in each school district. A task force, including Athletic Directors, the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services, the Secondary Level Director, and a few high school principals crafted the reopening plan using the guidelines set forth by KHSAA and Public Health. The finalized Athletic Guidance Document for reopening athletics was presented to and approved by our district nurse, Lisa Burgess, Superintendent Schultz, and the Oldham County Health Department.

Coaches received the guidance document today and will be in touch with athletes regarding the parameters of your sport and your next steps. Thank you for your patience as we navigate through this unprecedented time.


June 9, 2020 Update:  Reopening Schools for 2020/2021


Our last graduate has walked across the stage and we now turn our full attention to reopening schools for the 2020/2021 school year.

Pursuant to the calendar approved by the Board of Education in March, the start date for the Oldham County Schools is August 12th. Our current plan is to maintain this start date while continuing to review developing Public Health and Kentucky Department of Education recommendations for reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want to resume school in a manner that is as normal for students as possible. Current recommendations, which require more restrictions than school operations as we know it, will make this a challenge. However, please keep in mind that we are evaluating the requirements for a mid-August opening using data and recommendations from early June. It is our hope that as Public Health and the Kentucky Department of Education monitors the COVID-19 situation over the summer, recommendations will be revised to allow for a return to face-to-face instruction in which everyone is safe and a healthy environment is maintained.

As our local task force firms up our implementation plan we will share information with our school community. Because the guidelines initially proposed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Kentucky Office for Public Health continue to be modified and may not be relevant in two months, the task force has not adopted a final plan at this time.

We will continue to communicate with you about our reopening plans via email, Facebook, Twitter, and our website as we progress throughout the summer.

Thank you and have a healthy and fun summer.


May 2020


May 19, 2020 Update:  Last Day of 2019/2020 School Year


It's here! It's our last day of school! Many thanks to our students, parents, and staff for your tremendous work and dedication as we navigated our way through two months of NTI. Together, we are #TeamOldham! Enjoy your summer!


May 14, 2020 Update:  2020 Graduation Plans Finalized


2020 Graduation Plans Finalized

An alternative to Traditional Graduation task force was created back in April to research alternative graduation plans. This task force, composed of administrators, class sponsors, and student representatives, conducted surveys, sought student-voice, consulted the OC Health Department, and received guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education and Governor Andy Beshear. From this collaboration and guidance, a “hybrid” graduation proposal was presented to the Oldham County Board of Education on Thursday, May 14th and was officially approved.  Video recording of May 14th OCBE meeting

This hybrid graduation plan combines in-person and virtual elements and allows seniors to walk a stage in their caps in gowns at their school, with immediate family present. Our senior class sponsors have put in countless hours, working diligently to ensure that the ceremony will look and feel special for our graduates and their families. A professional photographer will be present to capture the moment and a professional videographer will be present to record each walk across the stage. Each school will have a final edited video that includes each senior, speeches and performances.

The OCBE also approved funds to hold senior celebrations at each of the high schools later in the summer, as allowable.

The board still hopes to have a traditional graduation ceremony later in the year, but due to constantly changing regulations, we can not put a date on that at this time.

You will receive detailed information on graduation dates, times and logistics directly from your school.

Thank you for being patient with us as we worked to find a way to provide our class of 2020 a dignified celebration of their accomplishments.


April 2020


April 27, 2020 Update:  2019-20 School Year Calendar Changes


OCBE approves changes to current school year calendar. The last day will now be Tuesday, May 19. This is due to the state allowing districts to meet the 1062 instructional hour requirement in fewer than 170 school days. Further communication will be sent to families tomorrow.

Oldham County Preschool’s last day for NTI will be May 14.


March 2020


March 31, 2020 Update:  FFCRA


The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  Please click here for more FFCRA information.


March 20, 2020 Update:  Message from Superintendent re NTI

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT GREG SCHULTZ:

Thank you for a great first week of Non-Traditional Instruction. I am extremely proud of how our staff was able to come up with such quality, engaging work on such short notice. It makes me equally as proud to see the quality of work being performed and turned in by our students.

Today, Governor Andy Beshear, in a conference call with Kentucky superintendents, requested that we continue to keep schools closed through Friday, April 17. The hope is to return to school on Monday, April 20. However, this continues to be a fluid situation and that date could change.

NTI work will continue throughout our absence from the school buildings, with the exception of Spring Break, which is March 30 - April 3.

Meals will continue to be provided next week, and we will have further announcements regarding feeding services in a few days.

I am very proud of teachers, students, staff, and families for coming together with such positive attitudes during this difficult time. It’s important students keep up with the work and turn it in as requested. I appreciate all our parents have done to assist their children where they can, and encourage students and parents to reach out to their teachers via email if they need additional support.

We are a strong community and we will get through this together.


 


March 13, 2020 Update:  Schools to Close for Face-to-Face Instruction

 

Tonight Governor Beshear strongly recommended, based on the recommendation by public health officials, for schools to close for face-to-face student instruction starting Monday, March 16 and running for at least two weeks. For OCS this would take us to Spring Break, which means a total of three weeks for the COVID-19 situation to hopefully improve. I feel compelled, for the health of our community, to follow this request and close OCS schools.

Therefore, Oldham County Schools will be closed until we reopen on Monday, April 6. Child enrichment centers must also be closed starting March 16 to prevent community spread. Please look for further instruction regarding Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) assignments to be communicated on Monday, March 16. The Oldham County Schools Nutrition Department will provide information on Friday, March 13 on the plan to continue providing meals during this two week closure.


March 12, 2020 Update:  Community Safety Measures


As a district, it is our responsibility to do what we can to slow the transmission of COVID-19, and we cannot ensure the safety of the community with large numbers of visitors entering our buildings. Therefore, the district is requiring any school activity that has an audience be postponed, effective this afternoon through Spring Break. This includes band and choir concerts, and anything else that brings outside spectators into our buildings. We understand this is disappointing for many, but we truly have the health and wellness of students, staff and the community as our main goal.

Schools will be performing extra cleaning and sanitizing over the weekend, so we’ve asked students to take valuables and anything else needed for an extended break with them. If we are in school Monday, please have them bring back the necessary items then. If there is something your child needs from school and we are not in session, please contact your school’s administrator via email.

Please know that you will hear from us first, should the decision to close school be made, based on recommendations from Governor Beshear or the state or local health department. There have been numerous rumors floating across social media and through the grapevine this week. Should the decision to close be made, you will receive the phone call, text and email from Infinite Campus, and word will go out via the district’s official Facebook and Twitter sites, as well as local media outlets. 

Should schools be closed, we must require that our child enrichment centers also be closed. 

It’s important to note that we have no plans to cancel school at this time, but as you know, this is a fluid and rapidly changing situation. We promise to keep you up to date with the latest information.


March 11, 2020 Update:  Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Schools


While we hope traditional learning will continue as usual, we continue to monitor and plan for the potential impact that COVID-19 could have on schools in the coming days. Our goal is to avoid canceling school if possible. We are working toward this goal by ensuring increased attention to hygiene and building cleanliness. That said, we do want to make sure that we are prepared in the event of a cancellation. 

Teachers and administrators will be spending this Friday’s Teacher Work Day reviewing and preparing Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI), which, if used, will allow us to avoid making up missed days at the end of the school year.  Principals will assist teachers to plan for up to ten days of instruction to be accessed by students at home, should it become necessary to do so.  At this time we are working out the details of our NTI plans, and will have a plan in place after Friday’s Teacher Work Day.  Teachers and administrators will communicate their NTI plans to students and parents as soon as the district becomes aware of a potential closure.

Replicating the high quality instruction that we expect each and every day in our classrooms is a challenge. For this reason, the Board of Education has not approved the use of NTI in the past. Please understand that even if NTI days are approved this year to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, NTI days will NOT be approved for weather-related closings. The district will continue to utilize make-up days for weather-related closures in future school years.

A team is currently working to complete the application for Temporary Emergency NTI days. The completed plan must be approved by our local board prior to submission to the Kentucky Department of Education for its approval.

***Please note that we do not plan to close school, unless we are ordered to by Governor Beshear or the Oldham County Health Department.***

I sincerely hope that we are not required to utilize the NTI option, but the health and well-being of our students and staff remains at the forefront of our decision-making.


March 9, 2020 Update:  Illness Response Team & COVID-19 


Oldham County Schools district officials are paying vigilant attention to COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. Our Administrative Illness Response team is meeting regularly and taking guidance from the Oldham County Health Department (OCHD) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). There are no known cases within Oldham County at this time. 

After meeting with the OCHD last week, we began reviewing district sanitizers to ensure they are labeled for “emerging viral pathogens.” We are scheduling extra cleaning and sanitation of commonly touched areas in schools, and making sure teachers are encouraging extra hand washing.

Although there has been no recommendation for school closure at this time, district administrators are seeking guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education regarding possible non-traditional instruction days, should the district be required to close for a period of time.

We encourage you to visit the OCHD website for more information on COVID-19 at

https://oldhamcountyhealthdepartment.org or call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725.


March 2, 2020 Update:  The Novel Coronavirus


The Oldham County Board of Education is committed to the health and safety of our students and staff and understand there are concerns about the novel coronavirus. Therefore, district administrators recently met with the local health department to review disease outbreak response plans.

The Oldham County Health Department is in daily communication with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, who is carefully assessing the situation as it evolves. Although coronaviruses are a group of viruses that aren’t new, this is a new type of coronavirus that health officials are still learning about. 

At this time, the health risk to the general public in Kentucky and in Oldham County remains low. The Oldham County Health Department will continue to monitor this event locally along with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and will implement guidance and directives as received by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

As a best practice for overall health, get your seasonal influenza vaccine and engage in everyday preventative measures to prevent the spread of germs such as:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
  • Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick. The CDC recommendations that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (i.e., chills, warm flushed appearance)
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Please contact the OCHD with questions or concerns at 502.222.3516 or visit https://oldhamcountyhealthdepartment.org


Oldham County Schools Illness Outbreak Response Plan