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?
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
(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
(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!
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]
Houston Barber, PhD