Middlebury Community Schools ending virtual learning for elementary school students

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:05 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:30 PM EDT
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MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (WNDU) - Numerous parents of Middlebury Community School students reached out to us after the school board voted to discontinue their virtual learning program for Kindergarten through 5th-grade students.

Starting Oct. 19th, elementary school students only have the option to learn in-person.

16 News Now tells us how this puts some parents in an uncomfortable position.

16 News Now spoke to a parent who doesn’t feel comfortable sending his 2nd and 5th-grade kids back into the classroom.

Now he says he must decide between sending them anyway or leaving the school district.

A letter sent to parents last Wednesday from Middlebury Community School Superintendent Jane Allen says any parent who does not wish to have their child return to in-person learning will have to withdraw their child from school.

This becomes a difficult choice for parents who feel in-person learning is unsafe.

“It’s either get in here or you’re done with this school, get out of the school system. The kids' safety should be first and foremost and a school system that feels like they’re downplaying that is a big concern for me,” said a parent of a 2nd & 5th grader in the Middlebury Community School district.

The virtual learning program ends Oct. 19th, but parents of those students only have until Friday, Oct. 2nd to look into other options.

“For the school district to kind of blindside us with this all of the sudden and not even give us to the end of the semester is just very concerning for us. I’ve reached out and spoken to both Concord and Goshen districts today, both of which intend on at the very least continuing through the semester, most likely through the end of the year,” the same parent told us.

16 News Now asked Superintendent Allen why the school board decided to only offer in person learning for elementary school students.

She responded, “We are able to watch over all of the children, watch for signs of learning difficulties, and ensure they are eating well-balanced nutritional meals while they are at school. We also believe that our in-person environment provides a good place for children to experience social and emotional growth and well-being. We believe that in-person learning provides the best possible learning environment for our children in kindergarten through 5th grade,”

Nearly 9% of parents who took the school district’s start of school survey said they planned to enroll their child in virtual learning this year.

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