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With Washington County’s Covid-19 map status Washington County Schools are going to back to in-person school this week. 

East and West Washington Schools returned for in-person instruction this morning.

Salem Community Schools will return with full in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 5th, according to Salem Schools Superintendent Jon Acton. 

Salem’s teachers and staff reported today. 

Washington County’s Covid-19 map status is currently Orange after spending two weeks in the Red. 

Current Indiana State Health Department Covid-19 map

Students participating in the Online Lions program will also start on Tuesday, January 5th. 

Action said the walking track will open to the public on Tuesday, January 5th as well.  

Acton said Monday, January 4th would be a professional development day for teachers and administrators and NO school for Salem Students either in person or Online Lions.

“We will continue operating under the guidance of the Indiana State Health Department and the Washington County Health Department and will promptly send out notifications of any updates or changes,” said East Washington Superintendent Dennis Stockdale. 

Stockdale said there were no changes for the school’s virtual students.

West Washington Superintendent Keith Nance said the school’s numbers will be evaluated daily and the county metric will update weekly.
 
“Decisions to remain open or change schedules may happen at any time,” Nance said. “Communication will be frequent and through a variety of platforms. Please make sure your email and phone number are updated in our system and follow our social media accounts and webpage.”
 
“We understand that everyone is uneasy about the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought, but one thing that we know for certain is that the lack of in-person instruction is having a negative effect on our children,” said Nance. 

 
“We are proud of the quality of instruction that our staff provides, even during these difficult times, but nothing can replace the exceptional academic experience in the classrooms of West Washington. A difficult decision had to be made to get “Back on Track” and back in school,” Nance said.  
 
“We will return to school with caution, but we can no longer afford to err on the side of caution. The risks of permanent negative effects on our children are too great. These negative impacts are not limited to academics. We have real concerns for the social, emotional, and physical health of our children. We are allowing for staff members with medical concerns that put them at risk to work from home, be paid and secure their positions through the pandemic.”
 
The local schools have operated with a mix of in-person and online schooling since August and have gone to an entirely virtual format since mid-December when the county turned “Red” on the state’s Covid-19 map. 

Salem Community Schools will use current guidance from the Washington County Health Department which allows for full in-person instruction, said Acton.

“We will follow all updated changes and guidance provided by the ISDH and the Washington County Health Department,” said Acton.

 
Nance said the high school would operate in a hybrid schedule only if the county continued in the “Red” category.
 
For those high school students in Grades 9-12 only, they have been emailed what group they are in for the High School Hybrid Schedule.
 
Nance said parents and students are encouraged to check their emails for updates.
 
Additionally, the guidelines for students that are close contacts were released by the ISDH and they are attached as well. WWSC will follow these guidelines for return to school protocols. (see below).