TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Citing concerns about staff availability, the Vigo County School Corporation Tuesday announced schools will extend their period of remote learning through Friday, Dec. 18.
Staff quarantines and other non-coronavirus related absences played a role in the corporation’s decision to extend remote learning until the end of 2020.
Current plans are for students to return to in-person learning Monday, January 4, after winter break.
Bill Riley, Director of Communications for Vigo County School Corporation, said they don’t feel confident in their ability to have in person learning.
He said community spread of the coronavirus has greatly impacted corporation staff.
“Our folks in the school community are members of the Vigo County community and it impacts their ability to come to work. We’re not seeing our staffing improving to a point where we can hold in person learning. ”
Title I pre-Kindergarten programs are also postponed until at least Monday, January 4.
Riley said the district’s COVID-19 task force will continue collecting data to determine if children will return in January 2021.
“We want as much in school learning as possible across all levels on January 4th. Now will that be available? We’ll have to wait and see,” he said. “I think one thing we’ve learned about covid-19 is that a few weeks can make a difference in a good way or a bad way.”
Free grab-and-go meals will be available at the front door of each school from 11 a.m. to noon each remote learning day. The package will include a breakfast and a lunch.
WiFi-enabled buses will be dispatched throughout the county, and a list at vigoschools.org will be updated with times and locations. All VCSC buildings have internet that can be accessed from the parking lot.
He said they want make sure they’re meeting families needs during this time.
“We want to be flexible especially around those basic needs that our families rely on public schools for. So if you need help, ask what resources are available. We want to take care of our kids. We don’t want to be remote. We want to get back to our buildings.”
The central administration building and general services buildings are closed to the public until Monday, December 7 due to a lack of available staff to respond to visitors to the building. Many staff members in those buildings continue to work on site.
People who need to contact the central administrative building can call 812-462-4011 and leave a message.