Education

All Jefferson County Public Schools will return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 24. 

Before the weekend, JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said the district was weighing the pros and cons of returning in person, exhausting two remaining non-traditional instruction, or NTI, days and tapping into the 10 available remote learning days, which offers the capacity for some schools, grades or classes to learn online.

“In the past few days, the number of positive COVID-19 cases among our staff has dropped. That means fewer JCPS employees will be in quarantine,” JCPS officials wrote in a letter to families Sunday. “We believe there are now enough staff members, substitute teachers, bus drivers and other staff available to safely reopen our school buildings.”

Earlier this month, a surge in COVID-19 cases among teachers caused a district-wide shortage. The lack of teachers, coupled with the omicron variant’s high transmission rates forced JCPS to use eight NTI days for the year — the only option that allows all schools to fully close and go virtual.  

“We did not reach this decision to return to in-person classes lightly,” Sunday’s letter said. “We know this is a difficult issue for many families but we feel it is important to get students back to in-person instruction with their teachers and classmates.”

On Monday, buses will resume regular routes, school cafeterias will serve food and COVID-19 testing will resume for students who opted to get it. 

In the meantime, JCPS officials said they’ll keep an eye on COVID-19 cases, re-evaluate if necessary and keep parents informed.

Yasmine Jumaa is WFPL’s race and equity reporter.