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As Fayette Weighs School 'Do Over,' Early Signs That Many Students Are Up To Speed

Josh James

Fayette County parents and students have until this Friday night to request what's being called a "do over" or supplemental schooling for those who feel left behind after a year of remote learning. But the district's top education official reports that much-discussed "learning loss" might not be as bad as initially feared.

Under a state law passed this year, Kentucky school districts can choose whether or not to offer students the chance to repeat or supplement classes that were interrupted by the pandemic. In Fayette County, district leaders plan to compile the requests and examine whether the idea is necessary or feasible.

"Many of our schools are already at the top of their capacity for students, so we'll have to look at that and make a determination," says interim superintendent Marlene Helm.

Helm says a number of factors will go into the school board's decision, and while it's too early to speculate on what they might decide, there are some early indications that a full reboot might not be the best remedy for many students.

"Remarkably, our teachers are saying that they're finding that the students are really doing well, that they're not picking up on this major learning loss that we keep hearing about," Helm adds. "So we'll be testing pretty soon, starting in May, and we'll know a little bit more at the end of the school year and then we'll use the summer to plan and ready for the fall"

The school board's final decision will come before June 1. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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