The Elizabethtown Independent Schools board of education met Tuesday for a special board meeting to discuss COVID-19 mode of instruction metrics for K-12 education.
EIS Superintendent Kelli Bush gave a rundown to the board on criteria released by the Kentucky Department of Education in conjunction with Kentucky Department of Public Health.
Bush said other school leaders in the state have been asking for a set of factors and criteria to consider when deciding to reopen or close schools.
This set of criteria is in play when the state’s positive rate is less than six percent. The guidance is based on the current county incidence rates.
Determinations for schools are made each week at 8 p.m. Thursday.
Bush said there are many factors to consider for closing and reopening including the importance of in-person education to the well-being and academic growth of students, trend of COVID-19 activity and cases among staff and students.
Every day, incidents are reported to KDPH where then a map is updated to show the rates of COVID-19 in the different counties. The color of the county depends on the community transmission and the number of positive cases recorded daily:
• Green. May have in-person or remote learning
• Yellow. May have in-person learning with heightened mitigation factors or remote learning.
• Orange. Must take additional mitigation steps and prepare for possible remote learning only as determined by school administrators in consultation with local public health officials.
• Red. No in-person learning. In the event a district reaches red status, they should immediately suspend in-person learning for the following week.
As of Tuesday, Hardin County was in the orange at 10.4 cases a day per 100,000 population members.
Bush said they’ve been taking precautions with COVID-19 guidelines, field trips, visitors in schools, gatherings and cohorting. She said they’ve been making determinations mostly on athletic events for traveling to different counties that may be in the orange or red, and those who may travel into Hardin County.
Since keeping track of numbers since July, Bush said Tuesday there is currently one active case with 14 other recovered cases within the district.
Board members then discussed shutting down and reopening measures with COVID-19 cases rising or falling.
Ultimately, the board decided on coming back together should the county incidence rate approach 20, which would put the county in the orange, nearing red, to determine the next steps.
Board Chair Tony Kuklinski said this will help in establishing a game plan before the county reaches that level.
Bush will continue to administer authority in regard to day-to-day cases that may come up and the contact tracing that goes along with that.
She said having those first three weeks of online only teaching helped to establish a good baseline, making it easier for the district to transition back into that if necessary.
No action or decision was taken during the meeting.