Important Notice

April 02, 2020

 

Dear Panther Families, Staff, and Community,

 The level of commitment to collaborate together during this challenging time has been extraordinary.  We recognize that your daily lives (professional and personal) have been disrupted by COVID-19.  As a husband and father of four children (of all ages), I live and breathe the daily changes and disruption.  The Barber family used to have screen time rules and those rules went south given the circumstances. I empathize with you and sympathize with you. 

As we fast approach the end of our Frankfort Independent Schools Intercession on April 10th and then launch into Non-Traditional Instructional (NTI) Days beginning on April 13th, I am sure a few questions remain:

(1) Will we come back to school in our buildings this year?

I wish I could answer this question. It is likely we will not be returning to our school buildings this year. We have an obligation and commitment to achieve 1062 hours of instruction for our students (regular or NTI).  We are working closely with Governor Beshear and Interim KDE Commissioner Kevin Brown on end of year protocols, procedures, and next steps.  I will keep you informed as we receive information.

(2) What are we going to do about activities and athletics for the remainder of the year?

Remain flexible. This fits in line with the end of the school year. If we don’t return, we won’t have activities and athletics.  Please continue to find ways to help your child stay healthy while at home. There are many opportunities available and our staff will continue to provide suggestions and support.

(3) What about our seniors? Graduation? KSU Early College?

Seniors will have every opportunity to get to the finish line regardless if we come back to school in the buildings or not. Graduation is a very sensitive topic. We will work to honor our seniors in special ways if we will not have an actual ceremony in June.  I can assure you that I will personally push to have a ceremony if we can (even if it is in August).  Please work with us and know that COVID-19 has largely put our ability to control these events at a standstill.  Our partnership with KSU continues and all Dual Credit and Dual Enrollment courses will continue through the end of the academic year whether or not we come back to the school buildings or not.  Thank you for your patience!

(4) Food service?

We have the dream team! Our food service employees have been rock stars. We will continue to provide breakfast and lunch each day no matter if we come back to the school building or not.  This is critical for our families and we believe in making sure that we provide 3:1 (social/emotional; academic/behavioral; access to opportunity) supports to our students each and every day! We also intend to add book delivery for students so that they have access to books for reading fun! 

(5) Non Traditional Instructional (NTI) Days – How many more days do we expect? Devices? Internet Access?

FIS is working closely with Gov. Beshear and Interim KDE Commissioner Brown to determine the number of NTI days. As of today, we are scheduled to have NTI days through May 1st. This is new. We met with Governor Beshear, Lt. Gov. Coleman, and Commissioner Brown today and we were asked to extend our NTI days through Friday May 1st, 2020. Therefore, we already completed 7 NTI days and this extends our NTI days through the weeks of April 13 -17 (5 days); April 20 – 24 (5 days); April 27 – May 1 (5 days). That brings our total NTI days to 22 days.  NTI days are evolving and require commitments from our teachers, staff, family, and community members. NTI days were not designed to go beyond 10 days and certainly not in succession.  We know this is a big ask and we appreciate your collaboration to make this happen! We don’t know how many more days beyond May 1st will be NTI days.  It will honestly be tough to endure to the end of the academic year. Just know we are in this together!

In terms of devices, if your child does not have a device, let us know immediately. We are committed to get you the support you need during NTI days. Furthermore, through an incredible partnership and sponsorship from T-Mobile, all of our students have access to the internet. Please let us know if you need a mobile hot spot and we will provide you with one. Thank you T-Mobile for their commitment to serve our students and families. Amazing!

In closing, please know that we are here for you!  We are here to serve you! Our Panther family is strong and committed to supporting each and every child, each and every day. If you have questions, you can call me on my personal cell phone – (502) 314-8960 or email me at [email protected][email protected]

 

Go Panthers! 

Best,

Houston Barber, PhD 

Image of Houston Barber Signature 

Superintendent

 

 

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