Pikeville Independent Schools has updated its in-person learning plan, with officials saying it is the next step toward returning to a more normal schedule.

In a letter released by Pikeville Independent Superintendent David Trimble on Feb. 16, the district provided details on updates it has made to its in-person learning plan. The district has now added more dates where all students will attend classes in-person in the coming weeks. No changes have been made to the district’s virtual learning plan.

Trimble said that this change is due to the decreasing infection rates within the community, which Pike County has seen in recent weeks.

“As we have continued our conversation within our district and with the medical community, it has become clear that we have reached a point where we can safely and successfully take the next step in returning to a more normal schedule,” Trimble said.

In the letter, Trimble provided the learning schedule for the coming weeks. Group A students will attend class in-person on Feb. 22, Feb. 24 and March 1, and Group B students will attend class in-person on Feb. 23, Feb. 25 and March 2. Starting on March 3, all students will attend classes in-person. Feb. 26 and March 5 are all-virtual learning days.

He clarified the reason for why there are several “Yellow” hybrid learning days and all-virtual learning days scheduled before the “Green” in-person days can start.

“We know it has been a significant period of time since we have provided instruction in the Green format. As a result, it is important to us to make this change in a gradual manner for our students and team,” Trimble said. “We have current plans that center around our Yellow model and want to give our students and team a chance to successfully complete those. We also found it important to have the opportunity to have one day to debrief after Green instruction begins, in order to assure we make any necessary adjustments.”

Trimble said that the district will continue to take necessary precautions to protect against infection in their schools. Everyone must wear a face mask, he said, in the school buildings at all times unless they are eating, which has already been a year-long expectation. Trimble said the schools will “work hard to provide the best possible separation for students and adults,” and they will focus on proper hand-washing with their students.

“It is important to keep in mind, following proper mitigation strategies is as essential as ever for our students and community, both inside our schools and within the community,” Trimble said. “While the hybrid model provided increased separation, we know this change will cause that to be reduced, but we will always strive to provide every student and member of our team with as much space as possible.”

Trimble thanked the students and staff of the Pikeville Independent Schools District for their hard work in helping make the transition to in-person learning possible, and he added that the district will continue to communicate any schedule adjustments to the district’s families and staff as quickly as possible.

“As we move forward with this plan, we will continue to work with our healthcare community and to consider our local numbers in order to consistently assure any necessary adjustments that must be made are made quickly and efficiently,” Trimble said. “If there is a need for a schedule adjustment, we will communicate that to you as quickly as possible. We are excited to take this next step with our students and staff. We are thankful for the amazing members of our team and our students, as it is their hard work that makes this transition possible.”

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