St. Joseph County school districts starting in-person classes on time for 2020-2021

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 4:37 PM EDT
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Public schools in St. Joseph County are bringing students back into the classroom for this school year.

16 News Now tells us what that means for the county's four school corporations.

Students will be heading back to school on time for in-person instruction, but this looks a little different depending on which school you go to.

Students at South Bend Community Schools will head back to school on August 12th for in-person instruction.

As of now there isn't a plan to provide an eLearning option, but that could change based on how bad the coronavirus pandemic is down the road.

There will be a virtual option available different from eLearning.

"So we're going to have virtual options for students who's parents don't want them to return to school. We'll be unrolling those at our July 13th board meeting. I talked about it today on 'Talks with Todd' but parents will have a choice whether to send them to a brick and mortar building or to join us virtually," said South Bend Community School Corporation Superintendent, Dr. Todd Cummings.

Students in Mishawaka also return in person August 12th.

Families that showed interest in continued eLearning can expect more information to come out in the next two weeks.

There will be a virtual instruction option available. A more detailed in-school plan will come out the second week of July.

Penn-Harris-Madison students will go back to school for in person instruction on August 19th. Students can expect in-person and virtual options, with more details coming out within the week.

One of the way they'll be putting safety first is by providing all students and staff with 2 reusable facemasks.

Students at John Glenn will start in-class instruction on August 11th.

There will be an online option different from eLearning called the John Glenn academy. More information about their specific plan is coming in mid-July.

All four school corporations worked with the St. Joseph County Department of Health on county-wide measures for bringing students back to school.

Schools across the county will begin on their previously scheduled start dates and have in person instruction Monday through Friday.

All students and staff must have a face mask or covering with them at all times.

Students and staff with symptoms must be fever free without using medication for 72 hours before returning to school.

Teaching spaces and schedules will also be adjusted to prioritize social distancing as often as possible.

There will also be plans to provide sanitizing stations, rearrange lunches to maximize social distancing, identify and isolates students showing symptoms, and remove incentives for perfect attendence.

"Since we're getting the same guidance from the St. Joseph County Health department, the leaders of our four St. Joseph County School districts felt it would be important that we have some very similar processes and similar procedures and similar plans and expectations for everyone so that we can be good stewards of our local health department," said John Glenn School Corporation Superintendent Christopher Winchell.

Stay tuned for more updates on each school corporation as they release more details on their plans for next school year.