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Schools around Indiana will be working overtime to digest a new 38-page guidance from the Indiana Department of Education in order to make provisions for reopening their schools that were closed in March. 
 
Local schools will be working over the next few weeks to develop plans to go back to school in August to keep teachers at work, students on a path to education and life as normal as possible. 
 
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has said schools can reopen July 1. 
 
Keith Nance, Superintendent of West Washington Schools said it’s too early to tell what will happen.
 
“Groups including the administrative team, school board members, representatives from the health department, faculty/staff representatives, and community stakeholders (parents, community members, students, etc) will be forming and meeting soon,” he said.
 
“Plans will begin to form and be evaluated. This will be a lengthy process. We hope to have a well-developed plan based on the considerations listed in the document that is specific to the West Washington School Corporation by the July Board Meeting.”
 
The document leaves much of the responsibility to local schools to work out how they will reopen. 
 
“Please understand that this takes time and that we need the patience of our community,” said Nance. “This plan will take weeks to develop not days and it will be a working document because the situation is very fluid.”

Salem Community Schools will use this guidance as well as feedback from Salem School Families per community survey, our Small Schools Joint Coalition and guidance from the Washington County Health Department to create our 2020 Salem School plan, according to Superintendent Jon Acton. 

“Currently SCS staff are meeting in six committee areas (Pandemic Response, Mental Health and Wellness, Return to Instruction, Facilities, School Operations, Technology) to discuss plans specific to our school buildings and grounds,” Acton related in a press release this morning.  

Beginning next school year, every Salem Community School student will have access to an electronic device (chromebooks) as part of our transition to Digital Convergence. 

“In order to meet the needs of students and parents, we will announce details to our new Salem Online Lions (SOL) pathway within the next few weeks,” said Acton. 

This will provide an alternative for on-campus face to face instruction,  for those seeking an online option for students grades K-12.  

“We will continue our work towards our 2020 school plan and share with our students, parents and the community when complete,” said Acton. “We will work quickly, but the magnitude of all areas to consider dictates that we will not rush this plan.  The safety of our students, staff and community is our first priority.”

To take the schools online survey, click this link – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScGoswdHALzyUdsLEEpa_kuBPSZfblySrawiX8_gjfToJ9T7w/viewform

According to East Washington School Corporation Superintendent Dennis Stockdale, the school has had a team that has been meeting for weeks to brainstorm and prepare. 

“We will be able to move quickly to create a plan with the best interest of our community in mind,” Stockdale wrote in a release this morning. 
 
EWSC has been providing all students with an electronic device for several years, but this year all device fees will be waived. 
 
“This will drastically reduce textbook fees,” said Stockdale. “We know many families are experiencing financial hardships during this time, and this is just one way we are able to help.”
 
Stockdale said every family will have a choice on the manner in which their child re-enters school. 
 
“We will send out information next week on how to register your child either as a virtual student or a traditional student,” he said. 
 
EWSC classifies a virtual student as one for parents and students who aren’t comfortable with the student returning to school physically. 
Virtual students will receive a fully online curriculum through Edmentum and full access to teacher support via phone and zoom on a daily basis. 
 
A traditional student option is available for those who feel they are comfortable returning to school in person. 
 
“Information will be released as soon as possible regarding what school will consist of for a traditional student,” said Stockdale. “Our preference will be for the traditional school to be 5 days a week, on a ‘regular’ schedule, utilizing social distancing procedures. We will strive to make a hybrid option our last resort.”
 
Stockdale said the school was working to create a new health and cleaning plan to make certain the corporation is keeping students and staff as safe as possible. 
 
“We will follow all guidelines from the local health department and from the CDC to develop this plan,” he said. 
 
Here is a link for parents to fill out East Washington’s re-entry survey — https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfJblYLrSz3e68WvoB3LUjacTnyaAtT7UYlg6ibV7jCeL1O5Q/viewform