Warren County Public Schools

Ana Studer

Educators across Kentucky, and the nation, are finding that the pandemic has caused a loss of academic progress, as students struggle with a roller coaster of schedules and remote learning.

Another major loss is the limitation, or suspension, of extracurricular activities.

The return of in-person learning in many Kentucky school districts may begin to make up for some of the gaps in social connection and academic progress. 

Teachers and students across Kentucky continue the monumental struggle to adapt to COVID-19 safety precautions.

But despite all the best intentions, the pandemic has blasted a hole in the social and academic structure of education. 

Warren County Schools Weighing New Boundaries

Feb 9, 2021
Warren County Public Schools

Warren County Public Schools will soon decide whether to accept new boundaries for its elementary schools.

The WCPS school board will vote at a Feb. 22 meeting on the proposed changes, which impact the boundary lines for a little less than half of the elementary schools in the district.

WCPS communications director Morgan Watson said being one of the fastest growing districts in the commonwealth means the district must re-examine its boundaries every few years.

"Whenever the district looks at the possibility of changing the boundary lines, they look at many things, including the transportation of students to and from the schools, proximity of that available transporation to and from the school. They also look at socio-economic background and future developments of schools, current developments in those areas," Watson said.

Facebook/Warren County Public Schools

Warren County Public Schools will return to full in-person classes on March 1 for K-12 students. 

Superintendent Rob Clayton said in a 'Reopening Update' on Facebook Live on Tuesday that in-person instruction will be Monday through Thursday, with Friday as a virtual learning day for all students. 

Clayton explained why the district is approaching Fridays this way.

"Throughout the school year, we have used this time to collaborate with colleagues, address learning gaps through small group instruction, conduct home visits, and other activities designed to support our students throughout this challenging time,” Clayton said.

The superintendent said that students who choose not to attend in-person can remain in, or switch to, the Virtual Academy. 

Ashley Allen

Warren County is in one of Kentucky’s “red zones” for COVID-19. The county has a high incidence rate of cases that state health officials now want school administrators to consider when planning in-person classes.

The Bowling Green Independent School District has announced that it will continue, through the end of the semester, on its hybrid schedule with students in a specified purple or gold group coming to class on alternating days.

To minimize the spread of the virus, the Bowling Green district also offers COVID-19 testing at the schools for students, staff or immediate family of school staff members.

Bowling Green city schools offer a rapid COVID-19 test with results in about 15-20 minutes for those who have symptoms of the virus within the last five days.

Fons Cervera

Warren County Public schools will continue with a hybrid schedule of classes through the end of the calendar year. 

The decision is based, in part, on the state’s new system that tracks the number of coronavirus cases in K-12 schools. 

Under the state’s new metric for reopening schools to in-person classes, Warren County is in the Red category, meaning a daily rate of 25 individuals per 100,000 have a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

Gov. Andy Beshear is recommending any county in the Red category postpone all in-person learning until it reaches Yellow status, meaning less than ten confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 individuals. 

Warren County Public Schools

The Warren County Board of Education has affirmed Superintendent Rob Clayton’s decision to resume classes in-person next week. 

School board members voted 3-2 Monday night on a reopening plan that includes both in-person and online instruction. 

Students who chose to participate in the virtual academy will see no changes, but students who prefer in-person classes will be separated into two groups.  Each group will attend in-person classes two days a week and be home three days a week for virtual instruction.


The Warren County Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Monday to approve a new school reopening plan.

The district had to regroup recently after Gov. Andy Beshear recommended districts postpone in-person classes until Sept. 28.

In a webcast Friday afternoon, Superintendent Rob Clayton unveiled a compromise proposal that includes a hybrid schedule with both in-person and online instruction.  The first day of classes for Warren County students remains Aug. 24.  Clayton said the Barren River District Health Department supports his decision to proceed with in-person classes, and added the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Warren County has been declining the past 30 days, according to local data.

Warren County Public Schools

Two new therapy dogs will be waiting for Warren County Public Schools students who are returning this fall. 

The addition is among the latest steps to better serve children's mental health needs ater the school received a federal grant last year.

Todd Hazel is director of student services for WCPS, and a caretaker for one of the new labradoodles. He said dogs have a unique way of helping students.

"In schools for over 20 years, I've seen how well dogs interact with students. And you can take a child who's going through a crisis that may not want to talk to an adult, or have anything to do with an adult. But you can bring a dog in, and it's amazing how quick that child can open up," Hazel said.

Jae Foley FB

High school seniors in Kentucky are now facing the reality there won’t be prom, graduation ceremonies, and other rites of passage this year because of the coronavirus. 

Governor Andy Beshear canceled the remainder of the school year to in-person learning and other activities this week. 

Jae Foley, a senior at Bowling Green High School, says there’s one particular event she was looking forward to the most.

Becca Schimmel

School leaders in both Warren County and Bowling Green say they’re overwhelmed by the number of refugee and immigrant students filling their classrooms.

Superintendents came to the quartely meeting of the Bowling Green-based International Center of Kentucky Thursday to voice their concerns and say they lack the resources to meet the basic needs of those students.

Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton said in many cases his system doesn’t have the resources or the time to properly educate students. He said refugees often enroll in school with little to no formal education. 

Rhonda J. Miller

More than 33,000 Kentucky students and their families will now have access to assistance for concerns ranging from school supplies to mental health counseling. State and local leaders were at Moss Middle School in Warren County on Jan. 14 to announce the opening of 28 new Family Resource Centers across the state.

Melissa Goins is the director for the Division of Family Resource and Youth Service Centers. That’s part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.  Goins said the $8 milion grant is a breakthrough in funding.

“Our Family Resource Youth Service Centers are funded all from state dollars so this is the first year in a long time, in about 10 years that we’ve been able to expand our centers,” said Goins. “We haven’t opened any new ones in about 10 years, so this is really big deal.”

An education board in Kentucky has voted to eliminate a requirement that public school teachers earn a Master’s degree to continue in the profession. 

The Education Professional Standards Board voted on Monday to approve a waiver that eliminates the mandate for teachers to move to Rank II.  The panel said the move will provide school districts with greater flexibility in recruiting and retaining educators. 

Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton says when he initially learned of the decision, he was worried the state was lowering standards for teachers.

Warren County Public Schools

Warren County's newest elementary school that opens Aug. 8 is on the leading edge in both sustainability and tech curriculum. 

Jennings Creek Elementary will have ‘coding’ as part of the curriculum from kindergarten through sixth grade. Coding, which is writing the language for computer programs, will be taught on an age appropriate level, so students naturally expand this essential 21st Century skill.

Morgan Watson is a spokeswoman for Warren County Public Schools. She said there’s another advantage of having coding embedded in the elementary curriculum.

Warren County Sheriff's Office

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office held a memorial ceremony on July 12 to honor a member of its team that died under suspicious circumstances. The law enforcement agency is continuing the investigation into the death of K-9 Kane.

The only K-9 with the sheriff’s office was found unresponsive in his outdoor kennel at the home of his handler, Deputy Aaron Poynter, in late April. Kane was rushed to the vet, but couldn’t be saved.

"A necropsy was done immediately and evidence was sent to numerous labs for testing," said Sgt. Curtis Hargett, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. "As time went on, we have determined now that the cause of death was foul play.”

School systems across Kentucky are making plans ahead of a national school walkout on Wednesday to protest gun violence. 

Organizers of the Women’s March have called for a 17-minute walkout at 10:00 a.m., one minute for each of the 17 victims killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting on February 14.

Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton says he supports students and their right to march in support of tighter gun laws.  He told WKU Public Radio that students won’t be punished as long as their activism is approved by their school principal.