PADUCAH — Kentucky school districts are preparing their plans to reopen for in-person classes in January. This, after Gov. Andy Beshear gave them the green light, if they follow the state's criteria to protect against COVID-19.

Social distancing sign

Students will be sitting in their desks for class in January.

Paducah Assistant Superintendent Will Black said 70% of students want to return to in-person classes. That's according to a survey sent to parents to make that decision. He said he thinks that option is ideal.

"In person allows you to build a relationship that goes deeper," Black said. "It allows teachers to monitor student work more effectively. It allows them to intervene in real time."

Virtual learning will also be available.

Even with in-person classes, the district will most likely stick to a hybrid schedule with students attending on alternating days to aid with social distancing.

The district will continue with precautions including temperature checks, mask wearing and sanitation.

Graves County Superintendent Matthew Madding said his district is waiting on more specific guidance from the governor to make a clear plan. Madding believes students will get a better educational experience in person.

"So, the overall quality of instruction will be higher once our students come back into the building," Madding said. "And that's absolutely the biggest thing, and honestly the most important thing from a school standpoint."

Both districts are looking forward to seeing students back in classrooms again.

Paducah Superintendent Donald Shively and other education stakeholders are meeting Thursday evening to discuss the vaccine plan for staff. Black said the hope is to have a plan within a week. Staff members have already been surveyed on whether or not they would take the vaccine.