Elkhart Schools looking to help families this fall

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:35 PM EDT
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In Thursday’s edition of Parents’ Playbook we’re taking a closer look at Elkhart Community Schools’ plan for re-entry.

16 News Now spoke with leaders in the school district about how they’re working to make the start to the school year easier for parents.

It will be a strange start to the school year but Elkhart Community Schools says they are trying to plan ahead.

“We know that this plan places a burden on families and we fully were aware of that in the discussions that we had,” Dr. Steven Thalheimer, Superintendent of Elkhart Community Schools says.

No matter what plan Elkhart students and their families choose for the start of the school year, there is going to be e-learning at home; either full-time or three days a week.

“We’re just working with some of our traditional partners, in terms of child care, for the days, those alternating days,” Dr. Thalheimer says.

As we reported before, the in-classroom plan is only two days a week in a school building with e-learning at home for the rest of the week.

What about parents who need to work? Who can watch the kids?

“We’re really trying to say to some of our traditional partners, Boys and Girls Club, Kids Care, what other options might be available that way,” Dr. Thalheimer adds.

Also reaching out to some non-traditional partners as well.

“We’re also going to be having conversations with pastors, and through the city with the parks department, to see about what could be some alternative sites to provide some potentially free or low-cost child care.”

Keeping students fed and connected at those alternative sites.

“Potentially receive a meal or two through our food service,” Dr. Thalheimer says. “And then have some supervision and connect to the internet to work on what they need to work on.”

Elkhart Community Schools are hoping for a smooth start to the year and ask for the community to help out anyway they can.

“We’re really reaching out to the community to say ‘here’s a need’ and we know the situation we are facing this first semester is unique. What can we do to problem solve and bring lots of partners to bear to try and solve that and help families out,” Dr. Thalheimer adds.

These plans for child care and internet access for students are developing as the start of the school years draws closer. Elkhart Community Schools are set to start on August 13th.

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