School was back in session for the spring semester on Monday, but Caldwell County students won’t be able to get into the classroom until this Monday.

“We started back this week, and we started back on virtual or distance learning,” said Interim Superintendent Heath Cartwright. “When the governor made the executive order for all in-person learning to shut down (on Nov. 23) leading into Christmas, we had distance learning for the last few weeks of the semester.

“We continued that this week in order to give families and staff some lead time to know what this week was going to look like. With the holidays and not knowing what the COVID was going to be like for the first week of January, we felt like it would be safer for us to continue with distance learning for one additional week.”

Cartwright said that when school begins this Monday, it will be on the hybrid schedule that was presented prior to the beginning of the school year.

That schedule calls for half of the students whose parents said they wanted their children to attend school getting in-person instruction on Monday and Wednesday and the other half getting instruction on Tuesday and Thursday. Friday is an at-home instruction day for all students.

“Families still will have the option to choose the non-traditional instruction or distance or virtual learning,” Cartwright said. “They’ve been able to choose that option all year.”

Cartwright said that school officials and staff will continue to monitor COVID activity in the schools.

“It’s not just the number of COVID cases in the county, but also what it looks like when it comes to the schools, and are we able to continue to bring the students in to have school with an appropriate number of staff members for school to really be school,” he said.

“We may be also in a situation where some events are canceled or postponed, depending on what the COVID activity is like in other places.”

Cartwright said there may be other districts that allow students to have in-school instruction four or five days a week, but Caldwell County’s hybrid plan has the same percentage of students coming into schools but still at 50% capacity, helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We have schools where we have 90% of the students come into schools for in-person instruction (through the hybrid plan),” he said. “Where there may be another school somewhere that may have 50% of the students attending, for us, if we brought all of the students in each day, we would have 90% of the students in attendance. So, for us to be on the hybrid schedule, we are close to 50% capacity even going hybrid.

“While we would love to have our students in class every day, I do see it as a positive.”

More information about the Caldwell County School District can be found at caldwell.kyschools.us.