laurel

Laurel County School District students will now begin classes on Aug. 17 in accordance with Gov. Andy Beshear's new recommendations set out on Monday.

Local school officials have stayed abreast of expected additional restrictions by Beshear and were prepared at Monday evening's board meeting with an alternate school calendar that listed Aug. 17 as the first day of classes for students. Teachers, however, will report on Aug. 5.

Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett said the delay of student classes would allow teachers additional time for training on eLearning and in-person classes. Parents still have the option of sending their children to school or continue with Home Correspondence Instruction or online classes.

The board went into an executive session for the evaluation process of Bennett, an annual requirement. Bennett ranked high in all areas with board chair John Begley stating that there were "accomplishments in all standards." Under Bennett's leadership, even those schools that were once ranked as "Needs Improvement" had achieved higher rankings.

Begley also addressed the school district's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that the board members were pleased with the district's response to this spring's outbreak and were pleased with the plans for this year's reconvening of classes.

"It's an honor to serve with a board whose focus is on students," Bennett said. "And hats off to you for all you do. We have a wonderful staff and it's an honor."

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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