On Wednesday, November 17, 2020, Governor Andy Beshear issued an executive order that requires all public and private elementary, middle, and high schools (kindergarten through grade 12) to cease in-person instruction and transition to remote or virtual instruction beginning November 23, 2020.
Additionally, all middle and high schools (grades 6 through 12) shall remain in remote or virtual instruction and not resume in--person instruction prior to January 4, 2021. For the period from December 7, 2020, to January 4, 2021, all elementary schools (kindergarten through grade 5) may reopen for in-person instruction provided that the school is not located in a red zone county as provided by the Kentucky Department for Public Health on the COVID-19 website and that the school follows all expectations in the KDE Healthy at School Guidance on Safety Expectations and Best Practices for Kentucky Schools.
The governor’s executive order will have the force and effect of law. Therefore, all local school districts are expected to comply with all provisions of any executive order applicable to local school districts.
I advocate for parents to have the option of in-person instruction for their students, but I also realize that the governor’s executive order must be followed. I commend our parents, community, teachers, and staff who have worked diligently to implement the guidelines issued by the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Thanks to those efforts, Cumberland County School District has managed to log ten weeks of high-quality in-person instruction as well as remote learning for our students. This is a remarkable achievement given the magnitude of the pandemic.
We ask for your continued patience as we navigate this next phase of instruction for Cumberland County Schools, as superintendents were not made aware of this executive order until the media briefing to the public on Wednesday. Our plans for November 23 through January 4 include the following:
Weekly food pick-up for all students will be Tuesday, November 24, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and then on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon for the remaining semester (December 2, 9, and 16). Food pick-up will be at each student’s school.
All students will learn remotely using their school’s chosen virtual platform. Students who are already enrolled in the virtual instruction program will continue their work as normal.
Free internet service is available at each school’s parking lot, the Cumberland County Public Library, and several area churches. Families requiring additional assistance with distance learning should contact their child’s school.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has suspended winter sports until January 4, 2021.
Little Panthers Daycare will remain open.
There will be no virtual instruction on our regularly scheduled breaks, including November 25 through 27 and December 21 through January 1.
While this is not the way I anticipated doing so, I would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season, and I look forward to resuming in-person instruction in January 2021.
Dr. Kirk Biggerstaff, Superintendent