Both school systems plan to welcome students back full-time on March 22.
In a joint news conference on Wednesday, the districts said a decrease in COVID-19 cases and an increasing supply of the vaccine make reopening possible.
Daviess County Superintendent Matt Robbins said it’s important for teachers and staff to see students in-person for the remaining nine weeks of the school year.
“We know they need us, and frankly, we need them, Robbins said. "There’s a lot of needs of our children from academic to mental health, social, emotional, anxiety issues. We need to see them so we can begin to diagnose those needs.”
Both the Daviess County and Owensboro school systems will continue to offer their virtual academies to students whose parents opt to keep them out of the classroom. Parents who wish to transfer their child to the virtual academy must notify DCPS by March 8. That’s also the deadline for parents wanting to switch their child from virtual learning to in-person. OPS has a similar deadline of March 12.
Due to a bus driver shortage, DCPS pre-school students will remain on their current schedule, attending in-person one day a week until at least spring break. OPS pre-school will operate on a five-day schedule.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced an executive order this week that recommends districts offer or expand in-person learning on March 1, or seven days after school staff receive their second COVID-19 vaccination. Daviess County and Owensboro school personnel will have received their second dose by March 14.
The DCPS Board of Education will vote on the reopening plan at a special meeting Thursday at 4:00 p.m. The meeting will be streamed online here. The OPS Board of Education meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. That meeting will be in person at the OPS Central Office and will not be live-streamed.
Kentucky House lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would require school districts to offer all students at least two days of in-person learning a week, beginning March 29. Only six Kentucky school districts have not yet brought students back to the classroom, at least part-time.