South Vermillion Community School board rejects health department recommendation to delay start of school

Wabash Valley COVID-19 updates

VERMILLION COUNTY, Ind. — In a 4 to 3 vote, the South Vermillion Community School board on Wednesday struck down a recommendation from the health department to delay the start of school.

The health department made the recommendation as the county COVID-19 case count continues to rise. A total of 47 cases have been reported in the county since the start of the pandamic. From July 23 to July 29 the seven-day positivity rate for the county was 10.7% while the state average was 7.4%

“Looking at the potential of moving teacher workdays to the 17th and 18th of August and the student’s first day being pushed back to Aug. 19,” Superintendent Dave Chapman explained during the special board meeting.

Instead, the school corporation will open Monday, Aug. 10 as originally scheduled.

Some parents are not happy with the decision.

“I back my school usually. And I’m usually supportive of them, so this decision just kind of threw me off-guard a litle bit,” Maryssa Padish.

Although Padish’s second-grader is one of 150 South Vermillion students doing virtual learning, she still said he hoped for a different outcome.

“Adding a little extra time could have definitely, I think, helped ease into the school year,” she said.

Brandae Stateler has a 4th grader and a junior in the school district. She thinks the board made the right choice.

“I guess life needs to get back to somewhat ‘normal,'” she said. “I don’t know if it will ever be normal again. But i do have full confidence in the school board’s decision and the school.”

As classroom doors get ready to reopen, Chapman said they have what they need to keep kids as safe as they can.

“We have the necessary PPE: masks, hand sanitizer, all that in place,” he noted. “The buildings have been set up to promote as much as possible the guidance provided by the governor’s office as far as social distancing for in-person learning.”

Other nearby schools including Vigo County and, most recently, Clay Community, have chosen to delay the start of school.

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