The details of this story will be updated as needed.
During a special school board meeting on Tuesday, September 15th, the Washington Township School Board met with some members in person and others via Zoom. A vote was taken on a new proposal that is different from the one approved by the majority of the board on August 28th, 2020. Stakeholders felt that it would be a long time before Marion County would hit the 5% rate for two weeks that was agreed upon to return to school. In addition, new information and guidance came out from the Marion County Health Department, so the metrics for returning were changed.
The Board voted on a new plan that set the minimum to return to 7.9% positivity rate for two weeks (Marion County has been in the 5.1-5.7% rate for two weeks). In the event that the positivity rate returns to 8% or higher, students will remain in school for two weeks and then return to at home learning again until the 7.9% has been met for two weeks.
Virtual learning will be available for anyone who would like to continue with e-learning. In addition, students participating in virtual WILL be permitted to participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities.
Under the new plan, students in preschool – 2nd grade will return on October 12th. and grades 3-12 will return on October 19th. Middle school and high school students will return on a hybrid schedule of two days on campus and three days virtually.
If students/families choose to switch from virtual to in-person or in-person to virtual, they may not always have the same teacher.
On any given day, student population at North Central High School is expected to be approximately 1500 students. The middle school populations are significantly lower as well, with 250-290 students on campus each day. No information has been provided about elementary population, however the elementary students will not be in a hybrid situation, but some families have selected virtual learning.
The vote went as follows:
Kite: No, due to 60% increase in risk with the move from 5% to 8%.
Thurston: Yes, but with reservations.
Motion passes 4 to 1.