- The department’s three main goals during this international pandemic are to remain focused on education, feeding and support. All three of these are reflected on the site.
- KDE is assisting districts in making sure that children have access to breakfast and lunch while school buildings are closed.
By Jacob Perkins
The Kentucky Department of Education has launched a new webpage designed to provide 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) education-related updates and information for educators, staff and families.
The department’s three main goals during this international pandemic are to remain focused on the continuation of education, feeding and support. All three of these are reflected on the site.
Under the “Educate” section visitors will find teaching and learning resources related to COVID-19. Communities and families can find feeding sites and child nutrition programs under the “Feed” section on the new webpage. The “Support” section is where information regarding finance and operations, news and guidance, and guidance from partnering agencies – including the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the Kentucky Non-Public School Commission – can be found.
KDE is working daily with schools and districts to help them get the information and resources they need to make sure that no students, educators, schools or districts are hurt by the closure of school buildings.
“During this unprecedented time, we are all looking for different ways on how we can best support our schools, districts and families,” said KDE’s Interim Chief Communications Officer Toni Konz Tatman. “From a communications standpoint, we wanted to virtually align all of the resources KDE is providing in one place.
“Our COVID-19 launch page is divided into KDE’s three areas of focus during this time – Educate, Feed and Support. Each area provides a separate page with a wealth of information, whether it be a link to a webcast, guidance, waiver, news release or some FAQs. We will continue to update the COVID-19 page as long as it is needed.”
The webpage was developed to keep families informed and help them find the services they need, while also ensuring that educators and districts receive all available resources to make sure students are still receiving meaningful instruction.
All 172 Kentucky school districts, 53 area technology centers, Kentucky School for the Blind and Kentucky School for the Deaf ceased in-person classes and began instituting non-traditional instruction (NTI) in response to a March 16 recommendation made by Gov. Andy Beshear.
“What I ask of each of you, to the extent that you can, keep providing those meals and I would strongly suggest that you continue the NTI through that period,” Beshear said to Kentucky’s superintendents in an April 2 teleconference call.
In the April 2 teleconference call with Kentucky’s public school superintendents, Beshear recommended that all Kentucky schools continue their suspension of in-person classes through May 1 to help control the spread of COVID-19 in communities across the state.
“Schools and districts have done a tremendous job of changing or adapting their methods of operation in a very short time to ensure that educational services continue during this unprecedented event,” said Interim Education Commissioner Kevin C. Brown in his April 3 letter to families. “We have seen one example after another of creativity, collaboration and dedication by those who are devoted to serving our students and all Kentuckians should be extremely proud of the work being done to serve the approximately 650,000 students in our public schools.”
For more information about COVID-19:
- Kentucky Department for Public Health’s COVID-19 webpage
- KDE’s COVID-19 webpage
- COVID-19 Hotline (800) 722-5725