Lyon County students will wrap up their school year at home thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that all Kentucky schools will finish the 2019-20 academic year through non-traditional instruction, or NTI. Later that day at a meeting of Lyon County Board of Education, it was announced that instruction for the district’s students will likely end Friday, May 8. The board of education is expected to make that decision next week.
“Every health care professional has advised us that this is the right course of action to take,” the Governor said of the state’s continuing efforts to stop the spread COVID-19.
Lyon County Superintendent of Schools Russ Tilford said the decision was not a surprise.
Though Beshear is urging school systems to host drive-through or virtual graduation ceremonies, local educators are not ready to give up on a more traditional commencement. Lyon County High School graduation for about 50 seniors is still set for late May, but Tilford said that date is flexible.
“There’s nothing magic about May 22; it could be June 22,” he told board members Monday. “We want students to graduate together.”
Tilford is even willing to consider a traditional ceremony in July, though it could be necessary to restrict the number of guests in order to maintain social distancing standards.
For students who may be heading off to the military or other commitments in the days following the original graduation date, he hopes to be able to offer some type of private graduation ceremony.
“I’m just asking that we be patient,” he suggested to board members, who will ultimately make the call on graduation. “A lot can change in month, as we’ve seen.”
A special board of education meeting is likely to be called for Monday to figure out how the district will approach the last two weeks of the academic year. Among things left to consider are determining how to collect school materials like Chromebooks and textbooks from students and finding a way to allow them to pick up personal materials left in lockers and classrooms.