Team Kenton and our extended family,
Thank you to our TEAM, our 14,000+ kids, our families and our community for an excellent start to the 2022 school year. As you are aware, we continue to have COVID as a challenge across the country, our state, our region and here in Kenton County. The Delta Variant is having a tremendous impact on our schools this year. We made a recommendation and our Board adopted our recommendation to only recommend masking this year as school was starting. We had just finished summer school with no masking required and we had a very successful summer program. The Governor and the Kentucky Board of Education then mandated masking which required us to comply.
Late last night the Kentucky Legislature passed SB1 which impacted education in many positive ways and they also shifted the masking decision to local districts. The law gives districts five days to develop a plan and place it on the district website and we must send it to KDE. Fortunately, we are proactive and keep our plan on our website to ensure transparency. Last year we developed a dashboard that prioritized safety and keeping kids in in-person learning. This year we have remained consistent with our district dashboard that can be viewed on line at our district website. It is important to note that we monitor multiple data sets when making decisions regarding COVID and the development of our district dashboard.
While we monitor several data sets I want to point out a few that had significant impact on the development of this dashboard. We have had 240 new positive cases in the last two weeks, which is the highest two week total we have had during the pandemic. Additionally, we have had 1,214 new quarantines over the last two weeks, which is also the highest at any time during the pandemic. We are required to follow contact tracing guidelines and we are required to quarantine individuals. Without mask, this number would be in the thousands of individuals quarantined and we would be forced to potentially consider closing schools, which I know nobody wants and that is not best for our kids. I know that wearing masks is now a divisive issue; however, I am asking everyone to embrace keeping our kids in in-person learning.
Our new dashboard will be based on the transmission rate by zip code in Kenton County. Please click this link for explanations of the various levels and guidance. This matrix is designed to keep kids in in-person learning to ensure we can meet their academic, social emotional and safety needs.
In closing, I request that we all support this model to ensure that our kids are where they should be which is in in-person learning on daily basis.
TEAM KENTON is strong and we will get through this TOGETHER,
Henry Webb, Superintendent
Kenton County Schools