Russell County Schools Superintendent, Michael Ford, released a statement today saying that all Russell County Schools would remain virtual until at least January 4th. The decision to remain virtual through Christmas break comes from Russell County remaining “in the red” with case counts spiking over Thanksgiving.
Earlier today, parents and guardians received the following letter from Mr. Ford:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Russell County Schools will remain virtual through December 18 (Christmas Break begins December 21 and ends January 3, 2021). Governor Beshear’s current executive order does allow elementary schools to return to in-person classes beginning December 7 IF the county is not “in the red”. While the state COVID-19 incidence map shows Russell County as orange, the Lake Cumberland District Health Department contacted me last night noting that the state map is not accurate for Russell County and we remain “in the red”. With the high number of cases Russell County has unfortunately experienced this week, I had already assumed we were still “in the red”.
Governor Beshear’s current executive order prohibits middle and high from returning to in-person classes until January 4, 2021-regardless of current county “color”. I join you in praying that Russell County Schools can return to in-person classes after the first of the year. I realize that there will likely be another uptick in cases after Christmas because of holiday parties, family dinners and New Year’s Eve gatherings. I encourage us all to be cautious in our decisions, as it is a community effort to get our schools open and remain open.
This is certainly a challenging time for all of us. I am encouraged by the COVID-19 vaccines that are beginning to roll out and this afternoon school superintendents across our Commonwealth have a virtual meeting with Kentucky’s Education Commissioner Jason Glass, Governor Beshear and Lt. Governor Coleman—“ The purpose of this meeting is to brief you on possible future vaccination efforts for educators and staff.” Thank you for your patience and understanding. I know I speak on behalf of the Russell County Board of Education and all of our employees when I say that we ALL look forward to the day when our students can again be in-person.