Indiana Department of Education offers guidance as schools reopen

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GREENE Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Class is back in session for Eastern Greene Schools.

The superintendent said he believes the year is off to a good start, even with changes related to COVID-19.

“What I saw was very happy kids and very happy staff members. They seemed to me to be very happy to be back inside the buildings,” said Superintendent Trent Provo.

In June, the Indiana Department of Education released “In-Class”. A guide helping school districts get the year started.

However, the document was archived on July 31 as COVID-19 recommendations are constantly changing.

“We were having trouble, honestly, keeping up with all the changes to make sure what was happening and being told from one agency or from the feds was trickling down to that document. And we certainly didn’t want it to be inaccurate,” said Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick.

According to Dr. McCormick, they are pointing people to the State Health Department for help.

“The state health department has their website that we refer people to, with their back to school guidance that’s been extremely helpful. And we rely on that to be accurate,” she said.

One piece of guidance is spacing in classrooms. The state advises 3 feet between desks, but Provo tries going beyond that.

“Three to four [feet] definitely. And closer to six if possible,” he said.

But when it comes to curriculum and instructional guidance, Dr. McCormick says she’s making sure her teachers and staff are well-equipped.

“We have a re-entry website that is full of resources. And those resources are for families, for parents, they’re for educators, they’re for students,” she said.

Parents and educators with questions or concerns can reach out to the state Department of Education directly.

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