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Are Washington Township Schools Open

author
James Smith
• Tuesday, 10 November, 2020
• 7 min read

“At each of our upcoming Board meetings we will carefully examine where we are locally in the fight against the coronavirus as we consider when students may return to the classroom.” Just last week, the board had approved a plan that would reopen its classrooms for in-person instruction with requirements for masks, social distancing and other safety measures.

washington township staff district faculty parents students education board
(Source: www.washtwpsd.org)

Contents

At the end of last week, the state saw the highest numbers of new coronavirus cases since early May and increases in the percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive. “Experts caution that students themselves may become infected and that even if they do not become seriously ill they may pass the virus to adults with whom they reside, including those who are immunocompromised or are vulnerable for other reasons,” the board said in a statement.

Before the district announced its plans Monday, Harrington said he and his wife had already decided their son, who will be a senior, would start the year online rather than returning to in-person classes. WashingtonTownship's decision not to reopen for in-person classes comes as President Donald Trump calls on schools to do just that.

Last week, Trump put the nation's schools on notice via Twitter, saying he may cut their funding if they don't reopen their classrooms this fall. Federal funding decisions are in the hands of Congress, but that hasn't stopped the administration from pressuring schools to open their doors.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos doubled-down on the threats to cut funding during appearances on television news programs over the weekend. WashingtonTownship said limited guidance from state and local leaders and health officials put the school district in a difficult position.

In a news conference last week, Holcomb said the state will look at a variety of indicators when determining whether students will need to stay home again. At that same news conference, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said looking at where outbreaks occur can also help them make decisions.

washington wtps township nj schools wedgwood sewell twp domain turnersville
(Source: wtps.org)

WashingtonTownship said it has relied on feedback from students’ families and the district's teachers for guidance on how best to respond to the ongoing pandemic. All 11 public school district in Marion County had been a united front on reopening, until Monday's announcement.

Fence said the decision to postpone the physical reopening of the district was a difficult one and the board understands the pressure it puts on families. The increase in COVID-19 cases in Marion County is what caught the attention of the board and drove the decision to act.

Washington Township Schools COVID-19 Operations Planck here for all communications and posts related to the Washington Township Schools COVID-19 Operations PlanIntroduction This plan for WT has been developed in collaboration with Indiana Department of Education (IDOL), Mayor Hog sett’s Office, Indiana State Department of Health (ISDN), Marion County Public Health Department (MC PHD) and with the benefit ... Spanish Translation Arabic Translation To: WT Families From: Student Services & Technology Division Date: July 25, 2021 Re: Technology Support for Successful Launch into Virtual Learning We are excited to start school virtually Thursday, July 30 for the official first day of school.

Our staff continues preparations for delivering high quality virtual … The WashingtonTownship School Board approved a resolution Monday morning in a 3-2 vote at a special meeting, citing ongoing infections and deaths from the coronavirus and feedback from parents and staff.

In a statement, the board members said it must always think of students first, including Black families, who health officials say, are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. District superintendents jointly announced last month they would reopen classrooms and offer the option for on-line learning.

township washington district staff faculty parents students education board
(Source: www.washtwpsd.org)

They also agreed to follow recommendations for in-class teaching from the Marion County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if they opened their school buildings. Today, WashingtonTownship board members said they were in a difficult position to make a decision on whether to reopen classrooms because of the “limited specific guidance” from Gov.

The board said it weighed the concerns of families for opening classroom instruction, and not offering in-person teaching. “Experts caution that students themselves may become infected and that even if they do not become seriously ill they may pass the virus to adults with whom they reside, including those who are immunocompromised or are vulnerable for other reasons,” the board said in a statement.

As FYI's Side Effects reported recently, health experts say people of color are not genetically more likely to contract COVID-19, but they do face conditions that increase their exposure, such as essential jobs and denser neighborhoods. President Donald Trump threatened to withhold funding from the schools if they did not reopen this fall, even though he has little power to do so.

© Getty Images Coronavirus All extracurricular activities that involve in-person meeting, including fall sports, have been suspended. Just last week, the board had approved a plan that would reopen its classrooms for in-person instruction with requirements for masks, social distancing and other safety measures.

At the end of last week, the state saw the highest numbers of new coronavirus cases since early May and increases in the percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive. “Experts caution that students themselves may become infected and that even if they do not become seriously ill they may pass the virus to adults with whom they reside, including those who are immunocompromised or are vulnerable for other reasons,” the board said in a statement.

township washington staff district faculty parents students education board
(Source: www.washtwpsd.org)

The district's only high school, North Central, houses more than 3,700 students and is one of the largest in the state. Rob Harrington said he was concerned about the school's ability to actually adhere to social distancing with so many students.

Before the district announced its plans Monday, Harrington said he and his wife had already decided their son, who will be a senior, would start the year online rather than returning to in-person classes. WashingtonTownship's decision not to reopen for in-person classes comes as President Donald Trump calls on schools to do just that.

Last week, Trump put the nation's schools on notice via Twitter, saying he may cut their funding if they don't reopen their classrooms this fall. Federal funding decisions are in the hands of Congress, but that hasn't stopped the administration from pressuring schools to open their doors.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos doubled-down on the threats to cut funding during appearances on television news programs over the weekend. WashingtonTownship said limited guidance from state and local leaders and health officials put the school district in a difficult position.

In a news conference last week, Holcomb said the state will look at a variety of indicators when determining whether students will need to stay home again. At that same news conference, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said looking at where outbreaks occur can also help them make decisions.

township washington district patch nj
(Source: patch.com)

She said answering these questions requires working with superintendents and local health officials, which Holcomb said the state is doing. WashingtonTownship said it has relied on feedback from students’ families and the district's teachers for guidance on how best to respond to the ongoing pandemic.

All 11 public school district in Marion County had been a united front on reopening, until Monday's announcement. Fence said the decision to postpone the physical reopening of the district was a difficult one and the board understands the pressure it puts on families.

The district announced Tuesday that Marion County’s rate of coronavirus infections has dropped low enough to start planning for the return of in-person instruction. IPS, one of the state's largest school districts, decided in July to start the year virtually.

Starting with one week of in-person instruction with a small group of students will give the district a chance to work out the kinks of the return to school buildings, Johnson said. © Jenna Watson/Instar Katy Larson virtually instructs sixth grade students from her classroom at James Russell Lowell School 51 in Indianapolis on Monday, August 17, 2021.

Indianapolis Public Schools are beginning the academic year with online instruction until at least October, due to the coronavirus pandemic. When students are out of buildings Wednesday, the district will clean classrooms and prepare schools for the next group of children.

nj
(Source: www.nj.com)

© Jenna Watson/Instar Katy Larson virtually instructs sixth grade students from her classroom at James Russell Lowell School 51 in Indianapolis on Monday, August 17, 2021. Indianapolis Public Schools are beginning the academic year with online instruction until at least October, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the virtual model for IPS students is more robust now than it was in the spring, school officials said they are still struggling with attendance. During a webinar for school leaders Tuesday morning, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick said schools statewide are seeing high numbers of absences and tracking down kids who haven’t shown up yet this year.

The majority of districts that have already started the year with some degree of in-person instruction have had cases of COVID-19 occur among their students or staff members. Some schools have launched their own dashboards to report positive cases and information about how many students and staff members have been required to quarantine.

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