McLean County Public Schools temporarily suspended classes effective this past Monday, March 16 on Gov. Andy Beshear’s recommendation in an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The board of education officially announced the temporary closure Thursday, March 12 after a press conference held by Beshear recommending Kentucky schools to close temporarily.

MCPS Superintendent Tommy Burrough said the schools had been preparing for potential closures and had sent out letters to parents to give them notice that it could happen so they could make childcare preparations if needed.

McLean schools were also previously approved for Kentucky Department of Education’s Non-Traditional Instruction days, which allows KDE to waive up to 10 days of school closures in case of an emergency so long as schools provide students with at-home work during class suspensions.

“We have planned already for every kid for at least two to three weeks in lessons. We’re one to one in Chromebooks, so we’ll have a plan for them to check them out so they can use them at home. We’re prepared,” Burrough said.

MCPS will also still offer breakfast and lunch in a “drive-thru” fashion to any children under the age of 18, regardless of which school they attend, at its three meal pick-up locations at Calhoun Elementary, Livermore Elementary and Marie Gatton Phillips Elementary in Sacramento, according to an announcement from the school board. Meal pick-up times are 7-8:30 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for lunch. Students must be present for meals to be provided and the number of meals will be based on how many children are present.

Meal pick-up is free and requires no forms be filled out. The program is for take-home meals only and food is not to be consumed on site.

Staff and teachers will still be available during regular school hours and providing regular student services as far as counseling, social service and instruction for students with special needs.

“Everybody will work as long as there’s not a case in the county. We will be in school and they will be ready and available for any child,” Burrough said.

Schools have provided students with work packets and Chromebooks to complete work on during NTI days and are able to download packets to computers for those without internet access.

MCPS school closures could last between 2-3 weeks, according to the board of education’s announcement.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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