A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Covington, Boone schools announce remote-only learning as both counties are in red zones for COVID

The superintendent of Covington Independent Public Schools announced that remote-only learning will stay in play until January and the superintendent of Boone County Schools has announced that remote learning only will be in place starting Monday.

Supt. Alvin Garrison had hoped to return to in-person learning but has decided it is not possible as COVID spreads and Kenton County is in the red zone for high cases.

“Covington Schools will continue with remote-only instruction until the end of winter break,” he said. “We return on January 4. We know that students learn best when they are in school but the rapid spread and spike in coronavirus cases has led district leaders to conclude that Covington must delay further in-person instruction.”

Superintendent Matthew Turner has closed all schools in Boone County due to staffing absences and quarantines. He said they couldn’t provide in-person instruction under these circumstances.

The schools are transitions to all-virtual instruction for all students starting Monday and expect to return to in-person instruction on November 30.

Boone County is currently on the lists of red counties in Kentucky; there are currently 94 counties on the list for high-level cases.

“We continue to believe that our schools are some of the safest places for our staff and students due to the implementation of the safety protocols,” he wrote in his message to families and employees. “However, the increased community spread of COVID-19 in our county does directly affect the absenteeism of our staff and teachers. Our employees must stay home if they need to take care of their families, when they are ill, or if they are quarantined due to close contact.”

Garrison further cited several factors driving the remote-learning decision:

• An increase in the number of staff and students under quarantine. The COVID-19 related numbers are posted on the district dashboard, which can be found on the website.

• Guidance from the Northern Kentucky Health Department recommends against in-person instruction at this time due to increases in positive cases as well as increases in hospitalizations.

• This decision also provides consistency and predictability for our students and families, as well as our staff members.

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