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Burgin Gets Ready To Go Back To School

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Burgin community member came together to spread mulch over the playground last month. Pictured from left to right are John Smith, Brandi Beasley, Campbell Beasley, Langston Beasley, Carla Curtsinger, Chris LeMonds, Will Begley, Landon Steele, Troy Lee Thomas, Logan Steele, Sarah Steele, Bill Gohrenson, Mike Wilson, Ben Bradshaw, Greg Harlow, Jacob Harlow, Mary Lu Harlow, Logan Hazelwood, Livi Hazelwood and Jeremy Thacker.

Jennifer Marsh

Herald Staff

Online school and sports eligibility was the topic of discussion at last Wednesday’s Burgin Board of Education meeting. The board decided to allow sports eligibility with online classes a change from their previous position.

“KHSAA has allowed sports participation as long as the student is enrolled in the school and not in a different online academy,” said Chris LeMonds, principal for Burgin Independent School. “We have seen a lot of questions on this and interest of students who would prefer online but do not wish to give up their sports.”

Burgin Independent School has adopted the late start calendar for the 20-21 school year with a start date of Wednesday, Aug. 26, according to a press release.

“We have been working tirelessly on our re-entry plan for this upcoming school year. We wanted a re-entry plan that was safe for our students and staff and also offered our parents a choice,” said Will Begley, superintendent of Burgin Independent schools. “We have spent a lot of time trying to decide which calendar we should use that will maximize safety, learning and is parent friendly at the same time.”

In addition to offering both in-person instruction and online alternatives, Burgin will have free lunches for all students and has adopted a color-coded tier guideline for families recommended by Kentucky Department of Education.

The tier system codes the school and county Covid cases on how they relate to the school.

Green means no active cases and school will continue following social distancing and cleanliness guidelines.

Yellow means there are active cases but no cases within the school. This tier means all field trips and athletic gatherings will be canceled along with no common area access for students.

Orange means substantial cases within the county with one possible exposure within the school. If this tier is activated the school is recommended to close temporarily do a deep clean and trace the possible exposure throughout the school.

Red means exposure is confirmed within the school with substantial cases in the county. This tier means a pro-longed closure of in-person instruction and collaboration with the local Health Department.

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Burgin residents came together to spread mulch over the school playground in preparation of students return to school.

The Burgin Board of Education approved the calendar for Burgin Independent students during last month’s meeting as one of three presented to the state.

The calendar would offer a two-week refresher course starting Wednesday, Aug. 5.

“All grades have been split in half with half coming in the morning for three hours and the other half coming in the afternoon for three hours,” said Begley, “For example, if the student finished in May as a 2nd grader you will come back as a second grader for these two weeks to catch the student up on reading, math, etc. to combat the COVID-19 summer slide. Then, on Wednesday, Aug. 26 the student will be a third grader.”

Whole families will be grouped together to prevent multiple trips for parents.

Begley said the refresher course has about 50 percent participation committed from students as of last week.

In addition to social distancing the school is planning for fever checks for all students before they get on the school bus or enter the school. 

Masks will be required when social distancing is not feasible but difficulties enforcing the rule are bound to occur according to the discussion.

“We teach kids to stand in line, take turns and all. This will be another expectation,” said Begley. “It will take time.”

The full calendar as well as the detailed color coded guidelines are available on the school website.

“We have to be fluid,” said Begley. “Changes are bound to happen and this is our starting point.”

In other business:

• Begley took a moment to thank the community for coming together to spread mulch on the playground last month.

“The people who showed up expected to rake mulch by hand,” said Begley. “Thankfully Mr. Bradshaw came with some equipment but the community support was overwhelming.”

• Approved the second reading of the KSBA policy Draft, vision therapy agreement for new contract and pay schedules.

• Approved change order for a water line to be moved and dug deeper. The order would cost about $9,200 out of the construction contingency fund.

• Approved unsuitable soil remediation allowance increase to fill in dirt where the construction crew found an abandoned water line. The change order would cost $7,900 out of the contingency fund but would only be used if necessary.

The Burgin School Board will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. in the school library to outline further details.

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