Pike County and Pikeville Independent Schools released their schooling plans after Pike County moved to the red level on the Kentucky Incidence Rate Map on Oct. 14.

The Incident Rate Map is used to determine the spread of COVID-19 in each county, and red means that the level of spread in the county is critical, with more than 25 cases per 100,000 people.

Pike County moves all-online

Pike County Schools Superintendent Reed Adkins announced that, starting Monday, Oct. 19, the county will suspend all in-person activities, all in-person learning, all school-related athletic activities and all extracurricular activities. Students are still to report to school on Oct. 16 in order to transition to virtual/remote learning.

He added that the district uses the Kentucky Department of Education’s “Mode of Instruction Metrics for K-12 Education” as guidance for making the decision to consider closing schools for in-person activities. He said that the decision will be made every Thursday using the current data on the Kentucky Incident Map, and every Thursday, the Pike County Board of Education will “review the data and announce instructional decisions prior to 8 p.m.”

“When a county reaches the red (critical) level of positive COVID cases, schools are to suspend in-person activities until the county returns to a lower level of viral activity,” Adkins said. “This means there will be no in-person learning. … Determination of school opening/closure for the following week will be announced each Thursday using the same process and data from the Kentucky Incident Map.”

Adkins emphasized in his statement that the district’s goal is to ensure the safety of students and staff while providing quality education.

“As always, the goal of the Pike County Schools is to ensure the safety of students and staff while providing the best possible education during these challenging times,” Adkins said. “Your support and understanding is greatly appreciated as we work through this together.”

Pikeville Independent goes ‘yellow’

Pikeville Independent Schools Superintendent David Trimble announced his district’s plan, saying that the district will remain in the “yellow” virtual schedule starting Oct. 16 and ending Nov. 6. He said that he and the district made this decision after communicating with the Pike County Health Department, Pikeville Medical Center’s Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Fadi Al Akhrass and other medical leaders in the community.

“There is a collective understanding that this schedule provides a safe environment for our students and team members, and as a result has been able to limit the impact of the virus within our schools,” Trimble said. “We know that this virus at times can be passed even when we are being the most cautious, and if the need arises that our medical experts and team of educators see the need to go to red, we will immediately make that happen.”

Trimble said that all families have the option to transition to all-virtual learning if they “believe that is in the best interest of their children.”

He provided a schedule for the alternating days on which Group A and Group B will need to attend in-person and remain home.

Group A will attend in-person classes on Oct. 12, Oct. 14, Oct. 16, Oct. 19, Oct. 21, Oct. 26, Oct. 28, Nov. 2 and Nov. 5. On these days, Group B will do virtual learning.

Group B will attend in-person classes on Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Oct. 20, Oct. 22, Oct. 23, Oct. 27, Oct. 29, Nov. 4 and Nov. 6. On these days, Group A will do virtual learning.

Both groups will be virtual on Oct. 30, and

In his public letter to the district, Trimble thanked the students, team members and community members of the school district, and he said they are making a difference by wearing a mask and being socially distant.

“Whether in the community, at a school activity, or for those in our buildings, thank you for doing your part in limiting the spread of this virus, and assuring we are able to continue bringing our students to in-person instruction,” Trimble said. “Thank you for the trust you put in each of us to educate your children.”

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