"Schools will reopen for in person instruction on campus this fall."
Perhaps the most important statement given by Dr. Eric Mackey in a press conference that was held Friday morning.
During his statements Mackey answered probably the most asked question in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which was would schools reopen this fall.
"Things are going to look different. And we can't predict what they school year will hold," Mackey said. "But our expectation is to have traditional on campus learning."
The press conference was to lay out a roadmap for reopening schools this fall.
There are currently two different PowerPoint presentations available on the State Department of Education's website dedicated to the aforementioned roadmap. Those presentations are split into a parents guide and an educator's guide, which is more extensive and up to 50 pages long
Both are available for viewing on the website.
"These guides are for guidance, they are not legal doctrine. They are also not an exhaustive list of protocols that every school will have to take," Mackey said. "These guides are designed to help, but they will not provide an answer for everything."
Mackey's presentation handpicked certain slides from the power point presentation to highlight.
His biggest topic of interest came down to the various forms of learning the state will offer, which will be traditional, remote and blended.
"We polled around the state and about 15% of parents say they want their kids to do remote learning," Mackey said. "We've been working hard since March to make sure that option will be available."
"We've been doing remote learning for a long time. In fact we were one of the first states in the country to start it," he continued. "But that was in grades 9-12, now we have to expand all the way down to Pre-K."
Mackey stressed that guidelines and protocols would still be jurisdictional, meaning it would be up to the school systems to come up with their own plans regarding how the school year will take place. He also said that there is no set date for schools to have a plan in place, but they do encourage schools to start later than normal.
"This is going to be the toughest school year we have ever faced," Mackey said. "But we are determined to do it for our students."