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According to Salem Community Schools Superintendent Jon Acton, students and staff have tested positive for Covid-19 at all three buildings. 

“Based upon our current quarantine numbers and the recommendation of the Washington County Health Department and the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jeff Morgan, ALL Salem Community Schools will move to remote learning for the next two weeks, August 24th until September 4th,” Acton said on Friday. 

Due to Covid-19 positive cases among the players and coaching staff of Salem Varsity Volleyball, the program has temporarily been shut down until Sept. 10. 

East Washington Middle School and High School were shut down earlier this week as Covid-19 cases turned up. They are currently using virtual learning there as well. 

Acton said the Online Lions virtual learning program for K-12 will reopen for enrollment until Monday, August 24th at 3:30 pm.

Information about meals for students will be released sometime on Monday. 

If you would like to join the program contact John Skomp at [email protected] or the building principals.

“We look at multiple factors to determine whether we remain “in-person” instruction or move to remote learning,” said Acton. “If only small numbers of individuals are impacted and they can be quickly isolated we can continue traditional instruction. Factors that could necessitate a move to remote learning may include, substantial numbers of positive or quarantined students, teaching staff, custodial staff, food services staff and bus drivers. If we determine we cannot safely operate “in person” we will move to remote learning using digital convergence to educate students.”

Acton said all extra-curricular activities will continue as scheduled but will be closely monitored to maintain the safety of our student-athletes.

Remote Learning Time Frame

ALL SCS schools will operate on Remote Learning for the next two weeks

Week 1 – Monday, August 24th through Friday, August 28

Week 2 – Monday, August 31 through Friday, September 4

Our goal is for all SCS schools to return to “in person” instruction following the Labor Day weekend on Tuesday September 8.

Remote Learning Guidance and Expectations

Acton said the school will provide a Remote Learning Technology newsletter on Monday, August 24. All students should check for information from their specific teachers by 9 am Monday through Google Classroom or gmail.
 

IHSAA and Salem Athletics

As of Saturday, August 22nd, the IHSAA is allowing all Fall Sports to continue using attendance and safety guidelines.

Currently, surrounding high school athletic associations differ in fall sports.

Illinois and Michigan have moved fall sports to spring, Kentucky has delayed fall sports start until August 24th, with Ohio starting on their original schedule.

All Salem High School and Middle School Athletic teams can continue practice and games if the following conditions are met

1. No player or coach receives a positive Covid test

2. Teams can effectively practice or compete if any player(s) are quarantined. (one member quarantined vs. substantial members)

Acton said only Salem Volleyball fails to meet those criteria from our athletic programs.

“The earliest Salem Volleyball may return to practice is September 3rd,” he noted. “Due to IHSAA practice regulations, the earliest Salem Volleyball may begin competition against other schools is September 10th.”

The county tournament was scheduled for August 22 but has been moved to October 3. 

Salem Middle School Athletics may begin/continue their practices/contests adhering to the established safety guidelines and above-mentioned conditions.

Questions – Answers about the move to Remote Learning

Q – How many buildings are currently impacted by Covid?A – Currently SHS, SMS, and BSE all have positive Covid tests from either students and or staff. This not only impacts the “in-person” instruction but staff members of our operations team.

Q – How long must someone quarantine.

A – Per the ISDH, the range is from 10 to 24 days. We have provided updated graphics in this newsletter.

Q – What is a close contact?

A – A person who has been in close contact with a confirmed positive Covid case. The ISDH states that close contact is currently being defined as within 6 feet and now cumulative 15 minutes.

Q – How many SCS students and or staff tested positive or quarantined due to close contact?

A – By Friday, August 21, over 70 students and or staff had been impacted.

Q – Why was the decision made to move to Remote Learning after only one week of school?

A – After discussing the Washington County Health Dept, it was recommended SCS move to Remote Learning for two weeks. This move hopefully slows the spread of Covid among students, staff, and households. The announcement was made on Friday to allow students, staff, and parents the weekend to prepare and make adjustments for the upcoming two-week schedule.

Q – How many other Indiana schools are operating now with a virtual model?

A – We do not have the total count of all Indiana schools. Over 30 Indiana school corporations began the year with only a virtual model. Indiana school corporations across the state have been forced to move to virtual instruction for a period of time. Currently in Washington County, East Washington and Salem are Remote Learning for a two-week time frame.

Q – What can students or parents do to help stop the spread of Covid?

A – Do not send children to school who feel sick. Use the Covid Screening checklist on our website or the graphic included in this newsletter. Wash your hands and practice social distancing.