KDE releases guidance on alternative learning strategies for reopening schools


COVID-19 Considerations for Reopening Schools: Alternative Learning Design Strategies

By Sky Carroll

The Kentucky Department of Education released guidance on June 8 on ways to safely structure instruction and learning when schools reopen in the fall.

The document, “COVID-19 Considerations for Reopening Schools: Alternative Learning Design Strategies,” explores a variety of learning and instruction models for districts to consider that prioritize safety during the pandemic, along with learning progression. The document encourages each district to consider the options and design a strategy works best for them.

The document provides four different possible strategies: 

  • Scheduled Rotation would assign students to groups, and each group would attend in-person instruction at different times.
  • Synchronous Opt-In Hybrid would allow for parents to choose whether their child learned in-person or remotely.
  • Combination would combine the first and the second strategies, allowing for students to learn in-person and remotely at varying times.
  • Online and Virtual Learning would expand online learning experiences for students at home.

Each strategy has several considerations, including student and teacher groupings, student ages, time of day and the ability to adhere to COVID-19 health guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the situation with the pandemic evolves, KDE is creating new guidance documents to meet the needs of Kentucky’s schools and districts. More guidance and resources can be found on KDE’s COVID-19 website.


  1. I have two children in the school system, one of which suffers from a disease known as VLCAD. I am his advocate. He nor my other child will be returning to school this year. I believe we can accommodate everyone by coming together and making learning from home smoother than before. For those who choose to send their children and those who choose not to; we all need options that work for us. Im trying to protect my child and his health and I believe I am perfectly capable of teaching what is needed. I have the support of some very wonderful teachers should I have any questions. I believe a single choice shouldn’t be made for us but by us. Consider the staff as well and their concerns with returning to teach a class. Their may be some teachers that are more comfortable teaching from home those who want to learn from home. These are not easy times but we don’t want to be in the hospital even for a minor cold during this scary time. We are doing everything we can to provide and protect those we love.

  2. I agree, I have a kiddo who has a weak immune system and 2 others who can bring it home to her. I would much rather do online learning honestly I think my kiddos did just fine learning this way. I think it would be nice to do zoom class meetings everyday at regular school hours where a teacher actually teaches them.

  3. online learning is the best option for now, at least until Christmas, and we should not start before Labor day. may be the summer heat will lower the spread of this deadly virus.

  4. They have said only one child under 19 has died. That’s one too many. I prefer doing classes on line. We need to think of the kids with parents. Grandparents. Siblings that have weak immune systems from cancer and heart failure. And yes I’m one of the parents that only goes out when I have too and my kids stay home from the stores

  5. Kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders cannot learn to READ virtually! They must have one on one in-person instruction! There are too many basics to be learned in those early years! They must have teachers to provide a good foundation!!

  6. I have 4 small kids and as long as covid is still going on I will not send them to school and put them at risk thier life’s mean more to me they can do online learning that’s ok with me but know I school for mine….

  7. In a perfect world our children should be in school but that’s not reality. I’m actually shocked to see any parent being opposed to combo or virtual learning. Having sanitizer stations and frequent hand washing? In high school maybe but even that’s a stretch. Kids aren’t mature enough to take the necessary precautions when not with their parents. I have 2 children with ADD so the struggle was real with NTI but my girls are safe and healthy. I will choose that struggle before I play Russian Roulette with there lives. I’m sorry but I can’t trust that everyone will take the necessary precautions to keep everyone else safe. I have Crohns Disease so I’m high risk so health is extremely important in my home. Thank you all for putting families first. I’d rather struggle with helping them learn at home than regret a big mistake later. I actually like me kids so I want to keep them around as long as possible.

  8. Our students need to return to school this fall, on a regular schedule, with a normal routine and activities! There are many students who do not have parents the ability to provide adequate educational support at home. The reasons are many — limited education, language barriers, parents working multiple jobs, etc. Not even to mention the sad truth that some parents are not engaged. What about students with special needs, a single parent working two jobs, and no family support? Not to mention the unthinkable fact that some children are in abusive homes! Lexington police quoted as saying reports of child abuse and neglect down 75%. Is their home life better now? Hardly. I am a bus driver — I have seen children sent to school dirty, soiled under clothes, and hungry. What’s happening to them now? One child under the age of 19 has died in Kentucky die to this virus. One. I’m sorry for their family, I truly am. But the facts/statistics don’t support these proposals — not in the least. Please…. open up our schools!

  9. Option 4! Please take into consideration these children’s lives!!!! Who wants this blood on their hands if we lose them to this deadly virus when it could have been avoided! Uses common sense!

  10. My child needs routine and in school environment for she is special needs. I would like for her to be in school.

  11. I agree with online virtual learning I do not want to take any chances with my children and their health and well being. I’m all for home schooling

  12. Some classes cannot be done at home, for example Machine Shop. My son is interested in this for a career. Just open back up. They are saying now they don’t believe you can catch it now if you asymptomatic. Just open up and quit living in fear.

  13. When does meaningful education come into play? Students who were on NTI days for the last quarter of this school year did not receive new content. Elementary and middle school students cannot be expected to learn virtually. Let’s also not forget the educational gaps this is creating in our country. You are not only doing a disservice to the kids. You are doing a disservice to our entire country. These kids are our future. They cannot be held responsible for the education they are not receiving.

  14. This sounds exhausting for teacher parents..what if their child has to do remote learning but the teacher has to report to work? How much exposure will the teacher have compared to kids..

  15. It’s dangerous for me to send my child to school to bring the virus to me I’m a diabetic and my father is on dialysis.

    But the teachers need to help the kids online not just post assignments. Some kids need to be shown. Teacher are paid to teach.

  16. Why can’t our kids go back as normal, with extra precautionary hand sanitizing stations, temp. checks in the morning, just like when going into church and other places? There is no reason that they have to alternate days or any other of the above. They need to be in the classroom, with an educator present, they have already missed so much. I don’t know how they are expected to go into next year without a review of the last 3 months materials they have missed.

  17. Thank you KDE!! We are in a very different time and these options are the responsible things all schools need to do to keep children moving forward in their education and keeping them safe as much as possible. There is no perfect solution to this crisis that will be favored by everyone but giving parents peace of mind that children’s well being is the main issue in these difficult times is very reassuring. The last thing any parent needs is to send their children off to school in hopes of preparing them for a bright future just to have them contract a virus that has a chance of killing them. Lets include mask as well. Anything that reduces the risk is worth the trouble when it concerns our childrens lives.

  18. Yes I worry about Covid! But home schooling was never my
    choice. I am a grandparent not THE parent. I never agreed to have my grandchildren 15 hours a day. They are supposed to spend the night and go to school. Mom picks them up and has them til she goes to work at 10. My taxes are being raised but I receive no compensation for being a teacher. I did not home school my 4 children and do not see why I am paying so much in taxes to be forced to home school my grandchildren. I also do not understand why the children are bussed so far from home. Busing started in the 70’s. Why is Louisville still so divided? I simply do not understand why the schools are so inequitable. Why does one neighborhood(mine) have 4 buses to different schools for K-5. It is ridiculous.

    • I’m more then happy to home school my babies so they will be safe and not get sick. I would rather he safe then sorry

  19. I have emphasimia and COPD, would like for my daughter to do home school her senior year, she could bring covid19 home to me which could be fatal.

  20. Kids are going to be kids period…as long as the COVID 19 is a factor these kids are at risk no matter of what precaution are set into play…..Kids in general DO NOT NEED TO BE PUT IN A POSITION THAT COULD POSSIBLY COST THEM THERE LIVES …..