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Newport Schools Announces Change, Virtual Start to School Year

Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Tony Watts announced a change in plans for the district's return to learning this month.

Following Governor Andy Beshear's Monday recommendation that school districts withhold students from in-person learning until at least September 28, Watts said that Newport students will begin virtual learning on August 31.

The district, like several others in Northern Kentucky, had previously announced a planned hybrid return, involving virtual and in-person learning starting on August 31.

"Our number one focus is keeping everyone safe," Watts said when that original plan was released last month. "We will be cleaning, sanitizing and social distancing as much as possible. Anytime a surface is used, we are going to clean it."

On Tuesday, Watts recognized Beshear's concerns of an increase in COVID-19 cases across the state, outbreaks in other states that have tried to reopen schools to in-person learning, and families still going on vacation to COVID hotspots and then returning to Kentucky.

"Based on Gov. Beshear’s recommendation, unfortunately, we will not begin school with in person instruction," Watts said Tuesday. "All students will begin school on Aug. 31 doing virtual instruction. We will provide updates on changes as they occur. We thank our students, parents, families, teachers and staff for their patience and understanding through these trying times."

-Staff report

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