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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Governor Beshear Directs All Schools in Kentucky to Close Starting March 16

Fort Thomas to close starting Monday, March 16. - March 27

Fort Thomas Independent Schools issue statement on closures.

Governor Beshear has closed all schools in the state of Kentucky starting Monday, Mar. 16

Governor Andy Beshear has issued a state of emergency in the state of Kentucky concerning the coronavirus. He has also announced that all Kentucky schools should cease in-school classes for the next two weeks starting on Monday, March 16 and ending on Friday, March 27.

Per Gov. Beshear, it is important for students to go to school on Friday, March 13, so they can receive the proper materials needed for distance learning. "What we want to do is protect the most vulnerable, kids seem to be ok...but they can spread the coronavirus," said Gov. Beshear. "So, this is a vital step to protect the most vulnerable."

FTIS will continue instruction through NTI. Some schools do not have this option so a special meeting on March 18 will be held to discuss the use of NTI (non-traditional instruction) in districts where it may not have been approved yet.

Gov. Beshear also asked Kentuckians to not overwhelm the state's health systems. If you are unwell and worried about the virus, call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725 or  visit Kentucky's coronavirus website here to discuss/review your symptoms.

Watch the full press conference here:

Fort Thomas Independent Schools issued this statement today:

(released on Thursday, Mar. 12, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.) 

Governor Beshear has directed us to cease in-person classes in the state of Kentucky, starting Monday, March 16 through March 27. While school buildings will be closed, instruction will continue through NTI (non-traditional instruction) days. Each student is expected to participate every day during school hours.  All schools and teachers will be in contact with students tomorrow with specific instructions and plans, as well as a website, call center, and additional information.

Please look for this communication through e-mail and our social media channels. It is vitally important that students practice “social distancing” and not congregate in large groups, keeping the 6 foot distance per CDC recommendations.

Please contact me, Karen Cheser, Superintendent, at or 859-393-4256 if you have questions. Thank you.

What is NTI??
The NTI Program encourages the continuation of academic instruction on days when school would otherwise be cancelled. School districts create plans to deliver instruction to every student in the district and provide for student and teacher interaction on NTI days, with the ultimate goal of continuing instruction. Our principals and district administrators have been continuously planning for possible school site closures and the implementation of NTI Days throughout this past week.  These NTI Days will be school days, at home, through online learning (a combination of assignments on Schoology or Seesaw and interactions with teachers).  The days will count as regular school days and teachers will be guiding instruction.

FTIS issued this statement on Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2020:

Dear FTIS Families,

As you know, our state is dealing with COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) and everyone is working hard to stop the spread of the disease.  Without therapies, medications, or a vaccine, there is quite a bit unknown about this virus, and also limited ways to counteract it when it becomes serious.  We are sure you have heard that the most vulnerable people are those over 60 and those with other medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart and respiratory problems. While young children do not seem to be experiencing serious complications from COVID-19, they are certainly carriers of the virus and can unknowingly spread it to others.  Our schools are practicing intense handwashing, cleaning, and protective sneezing and coughing measures as directed by the NKY Health Department and CDC, to try to prevent any exposure.  Our goal for children is to keep things calm, not stress anything about the virus, but to ensure that we are taking all precautions.

(More information about COVID-19 can be found at:

Governor Beshear, upon advice of numerous experts, has advised several measures to try to contain the virus, including limiting visitors to nursing homes, cancelling large gatherings (such as church services), and discouraging international and cruise travel. These experts are also concerned that if the virus spreads quickly our healthcare services will not have enough equipment, gear, supplies and people to meet the patient needs.  By trying to mitigate the disease, stop it from spreading by practicing “social distancing”, we would have a chance for our healthcare system to catch up, as well as slow down the outbreak.

To that end, today, the Governor advised that schools should be prepared to close (with a 72-hour warning) so Monday would be the earliest that this would occur. State universities have already announced closures and moving to online learning.

Our principals and district administrators started meeting yesterday to plan for school closures and will be implementing something called NTI days (if approved by the Board of Education tomorrow). These Non-Traditional Instruction Days will be school days, at home, through online learning (a combination of assignments on Schoology or Seesaw and interactions with teachers).  The days will count as regular school days and teachers will be guiding instruction.

Today teachers made sure that students took home their devices (MacBooks or IPads) and chargers in order to make sure that they can connect to the Internet in your home.  Please verify with your child sometime before Friday that the device does connect.  If you need any assistance with this, please call Diana McGhee, Director of Technology, at 859-466-8632. (Some of the teachers also sent home student workbooks, not knowing if we would have an immediate closing by the Governor.)

Over the next two days, your school will provide specific instructions on how online learning will take place. We know this is a tremendous inconvenience for you and we wish this didn’t have to occur. We anticipate that any closing will be temporary and our goal is to provide whatever resources and information you need. We will have a website with all information and tutorials, as well as a tech help line for families.  This is new for all of us, since no one has experienced a situation such as this.  Please let us know what we can do to help you and also any ideas you have. Thank you.


Karen Cheser, Ed.D.

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