TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — For the first time since November, Vigo County elementary schools returned to in-person learning on Monday. Middle and high schools will return to classrooms on Tuesday, alternating between the “A” and “B” cohorts.
Remote learning in November and December was primarily due to staff availability. Moving forward, the School Corporation will evaluate the process on a school-by-school basis to determine if any specific school needs to return to the remote system. VCSC hopes to avoid district-wide remote learning.
“What we hope that allows us to do is offer the maximum amount of in-person school that we can to middle and high school students, as well as our elementary school students,” explained Bill Riley, VCSC head of communication.
In-person learning is the best option for everyone’s emotional and social well-being.
“Often the students that maybe aren’t engaging online are the ones that need in-person school the most, and so, (we’re) really excited to get back and see our kids and make sure they’re OK,” Riley said.
Kids need their teachers, Riley said, but just as importantly, teachers need their students.
“It is not easy, and speaking as somebody who has taught online, it’s not easy to teach online. Our teachers have done an amazing job learning on the fly both hardware and software to make it happen, but I don’t think it’s anybody’s preference,” he said.
Riley noted that the community relies on public schools for more than just academics. Breakfast and lunches will be free to all students for the remainder of the school year, thanks to an extension of a United States Department of Agriculture program.
Said Riley, “When you think about all the other services that public schools provide — food, encouragement, counselling, just making sure a student’s home life is OK.”
Riley said parents can’t just assume that in-person learning will proceed at a steady pace going forward.
“Parents should have a plan if their child’s particular school needs to go remote, but it’s our hope to avoid district-wide remote learning for the remainder of the school year.”