Students forced to revert to virtual learning

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The school building will be largely empty of students for the remainder of the semester.

Since hybrid learning began at the start of quarter two, there has been a sentiment that while it was good that students were returning, many doubted how long the hybrid option would last. 

With cases spiking around the state  many school districts have had to reconsider the way they will have classes in the coming weeks. Washington Township will be among them as the cases in Marion county continue to rise. 

The rising cases have forced the school board to decide that beginning on Wednesday, November 18 Washington Township will return to the virtual learning option. 

The reasons for this change were laid out in the original plan when the positive COVID cases rose above eight percent for two weeks straight as to curb the effect of a quick spike.  

Through data pulled from the Marion County Public Health Department’s school guidance dashboard, the school board chose that at this point in the pandemic, it is unsafe for students to continue hybrid learning. 

While the majority of students will remain out of school, a group of students at “JEL, designated assessments, and students with their IEP, that is individual education plan, determines in-person services are necessary per our school board resolution,” assistant superintendent Sean Taylor said. 

This means that students who require in-person educational services will still have access to it if their situation warrants it. This also means that students with major standardized tests such as ISTEP will be able to take them in person so that it will not hinder their ability to graduate on time. 

This decision was not made lightly, with major public input being given on this issue. “ We acknowledge that with matters pertaining to COVID-19 and opening and closing schools there are stakeholders throughout our community who on one hand feel strongly about keeping schools open, and on the other hand feels strongly about closing schools down. For example, we’ve heard from parents who are adamant they want their children in school next week and the week after. We’ve also heard from members of our teacher’s association that they do not want to return to in-person learning next week out of concern for the positivity rate,” Doctor Taylor said. 

This discussion will continue for the next several weeks and months as this virus rages across the United States. Though they will learn fully on zoom, students have shown that this year they will adapt to whatever is thrown at them.