On Monday, Logansport Junior High students will start e-learning.
After going the entire school year without any positive cases, Logansport Community School Corporation Superintendent Michele Starkey said three positive results have been reported as of Friday. Because contact tracing must go back 48 hours, approximately 100 students have to be quarantined.
This follows the high school band being quarantined after two students tested positive.
The frustrating part, she said, is that students are not getting the virus at school. “It’s coming from homes and the community.”
By following the Indiana State Department of Health, Cass County Health Department, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, she said schools are meticulously sanitized and cleaned. Faculty, staff and students wear their masks while maintaining appropriate social distancing.
In essence, the corporation is doing everything right.
But the schools can’t act alone. “We need people in the community to help and to be safe,” said Starkey. If everyone worked together to make the best of a difficult situation, then maybe county schools wouldn’t have to transition to virtual classrooms.
This is a concern that Cass County superintendents have addressed with state Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box. Following superintendents in the northern part of the state, where only 0.68% of their 7,000 quarantined students tested positive, the local group sent a letter to the commissioner, sharing information about what has been occurring in Cass County. Part of the data included facts about how students who are required to quarantine are not testing positive.
If someone does test positive, the contact tracing must be done for anyone who came near that individual within a two-day time frame. Then, those people are under quarantine restrictions for 14 days.
This is why the junior high students are now beginning virtual learning, said Starkey. They will continue with e-learning through Nov. 24. At the same time, the 9th- through 12th-graders will move from their e-learning schedule to a hybrid model.
As of Nov. 30, directly after fall break, all junior high and high school students will be on the hybrid schedule. “A hybrid schedule is a mixture of in-person and online instruction [that] reduces the number of students on campus at any given time,” Starkey stated in a previous news release.
They will remain on this learning platform through Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Starkey anticipates everyone returning to the classrooms on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.
In the meantime, all Logansport elementary students – grades kindergarten through sixth – will continue in-person instruction.