The Bowling Green Independent School District’s plans for reopening schools in the fall are still taking shape, but Superintendent Gary Fields took the opportunity Monday during a board of education meeting to address parents’ questions about what instruction might look like.

“We have an Aug. 6 start date, that is our plan,” Fields said during the meeting, which was broadcast on the district’s Facebook page.

Fields said parents should try to be flexible, though, and he acknowledged that district leaders recognize “people are counting on us” to reopen schools.

Still, he did not rule out the possibility of a delayed start to the school year – possibly as late as Aug. 24 – because he said it could pose certain advantages for the district.

In a followup interview, Fields said that with each passing week he is more optimistic about the start of the school year. He hopes the state won’t see a spike in cases later in the summer.

“Right now, we don’t know,” he said, adding the district has to “plan broadly” so it can pivot on the fly. “We’re going to have to watch closely.”

Ultimately, parents could see a clearer picture in early July, Fields said. The school board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is July 13, and Fields said parents should know more by then.

“We have to make a decision in early July,” he said. “Parents need to know what to do.”

The Kentucky Department of Education has asked schools to consider planning for three possible contingencies, including a traditional opening in accordance with public health guidelines, beginning the school year online with nontraditional instruction or a mix of the two.

Fields’ comments Monday came on the heels of a new KDE-issued guidance document that provides several instruction models schools might choose to implement.

The KDE document provides four different possible strategies:

  • A scheduled rotation approach would assign students to groups, and each group would attend in person instruction at different times.
  • A “Synchronous Opt-In Hybrid” model would allow for parents to choose whether their child learned in person or remotely.
  • A combination model would blend 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.

The full document may be read with this story at bgdailynews.com.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

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