How Indiana Schools Can Safely Reopen
The Indiana Department of Education has updated its guidelines to help school officials and parents decide how schools can safely reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dwight Adams, [email protected]
Avon Community Schools have identified nine cases of COVID-19 among its staff and students since schools officially reopened statewide on July 1. The district began its school year with in-person and virtual options for families on July 29.
The district announced that Avon High School will switch to e-learning on Tuesday and continue that way for the rest of the week.
Here’s what we know about what’s going on at Avon:
The Avon schools were the first to close.
Avon was the first school district in Indiana to close when the pandemic began. A student at Hickory Elementary School was the third publicly identified case in the state in March. Originally, the district planned to close only Hickory, but then closed all of its schools after a second student started showing symptoms.
The pupils were to return to the school buildings on April 6, after their spring break. By that time, however, Governor Eric Holcomb had closed schools statewide.
It was the first in central Indiana to reopen.
Avon began the 2020-21 school year on July 29, making it the first public school district in Indiana to reopen and one of the first in the state. It offers both in-person instruction and fully virtual options for families who do not yet wish to send students back to school buildings.
There have been several cases in several schools.
On Monday, the district confirmed that there had been nine identified cases of COVID-19 this school year. Five of those cases – two staff and three students – are linked to Avon High School. The district did not respond to questions about the number of people in quarantine, but said in a statement on its website Monday that the high school’s operations “have been affected by staff and students being quarantined.”
Over the weekend, Suzy Lebo, president of the Avon Teachers’ Federation, appeared on MSNBC’s live news program and said there were “hundreds of children in quarantine” linked to these. case.
Starting Tuesday, all high school students will receive their instruction online for the remainder of the week.
The district plans to develop a hybrid schedule for the next two weeks to reduce the number of students in the building at all times. The plan is to get everyone back to school at the same time on August 31st.
Additional cases have been identified at Pine Tree Elementary School, Hickory Elementary School, Avon East Middle School, and Avon West Middle School.
There is no closing threshold.
According to the district’s Frequently Asked Questions document, there is no threshold at which the district would close schools and move all students into virtual learning.
“Advice from Dr Box, the state health commissioner, this week and advice from our local health ministry have indicated that there is no set threshold at which a school must close,” says the document, which was updated with this information on August 7. âWe continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health as positive cases are identified. A district-wide closure for e-learning is highly unlikely. However, we can make brief closures at a school or even a classroom level based on positive cases, contact tracing and direction from the Department of Health. “