8 Vigo Co. Schools return to 5 day week starting Monday

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Deming, Franklin, Hoosier Prairie, Lost Creek, Riley, Sugar Grove, Terre Town and West Vigo Elementary students who chose in-person education are making their way back into the classroom five days a week starting on Monday, September 28.

This comes after Vigo County School Corporation welcomed students back on an A/B schedule in August.

Jodie Buckallew, a Lost Creek Special Education Teacher and Vigo Co. Teachers Association President, said teachers’ main concern is social distancing.

“It’s making sure that we’re social distancing. Making sure that there’s room in the room and making sure there is room outside. A lot of classrooms have moved outside and so we’re just making sure we have plenty of space for that,” she said.

School corporation officials worked with various county health leaders and teachers within the district’s COVID-19 task force.

They said want to bring students back slowly to figure out what works well and where they can improve.

“Can we keep up with contact tracing? Can the adults that are doing contact tracing with us keep u with that? We want to see that success. We want to make sure that we address any staffing needs for more students in the building. We may have to introduce one or two new staff members in each building.  We want to see what those needs are in a smaller group,” said Bill Riley, Director of Communications for Vigo Co. School Corporation.

Local COVID-19 case numbers and positivity rates were a key component in the district’s recent decision , as COVID-19 cases decrease in Vigo County.

Roni Elder, Vigo County Health Educator, said she’s confident school can continue as long as everyone follows the proper protocols.

“I think the school corporation is doing everything that they can and being very cautious about getting kids back into schools including the protocols they’re going to have like contact tracing. There’s a lot of things that go into it. But it’s slow and steady and eventually we’ll get there where everyone is full time hopefully.”

Riley said parents and students were asked to commit to virtual, hybrid, or in person learning for at least nine weeks.

He encourages those who would like to return in person to reach out to their child’s principal.

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