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This Week In Conversation: Pens, Lunch Boxes And Masks

A back-to-school display welcomes students as they enter Wilder Elementary.
A back-to-school display welcomes students as they enter Wilder Elementary.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a regular back-to-school season for our children. And unfortunately, this year’s return still has personal protective masks on the school supplies list.

When COVID-19 first started, many of the most severe cases were in older people. With the delta variant, data shows an increasing number of kids not just testing positive, but more having to go to the hospital. Complicating the issue is that vaccines are not yet available to those 12 and under.

So, while research is still underway on whether the variant itself is more harmful to children, some say the numbers are going up because the variant is just far more transmissible and adults just aren’t being as careful because of vaccines and summer weather.

On this week’s “In Conversation,” host Rick Howlett talked to WFPL Education Reporter Jess Clark and Health/Southern Indiana Reporter John Boyle about how school openings have looked in both Kentucky and Indiana as the delta variant sweeps through school districts.

And we checked in with Dr. Marty Pollio, superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools, about how the school year kicked off, how the surge of COVID-19 cases has shifted preparation for the school year, and what other issues are shaping the 2021-2022 school year. 

Listen to the show:


Michelle Tyrene Johnson is the lead producer of LPM’s talk shows, and she is also the host and producer of LPM’s podcast Race Unwrapped. Email Michelle at mjohnson@lpm.org.

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