Southwest School Corporation prepares for the worst, hopes for the best amid COVID-19

It’s been the theme here in the Wabash Valley for the last week. School corporations like Southwest in Sullivan are welcoming students back to the classroom.

Posted: Aug 12, 2020 6:17 PM

SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTHI) - It’s been the theme here in the Wabash Valley for the last week. School corporations like Southwest in Sullivan are welcoming students back to the classroom. Superintendent of Southwest School Corporation Dr. Chris Stitzle spoke to News 10 about how he feels about the plans they have in place and how students and teachers felt about being back in school.

Southwest School Corporation welcomed students back on Tuesday, August 11th, and Dr. Stitzle says they are off to a great start. He says students and teachers were excited to be back and everyone was following the proper guidelines.

Stitzle says they feel good about the options they’ve offered to students for this school year. He’s under no illusion that this year will go uninterrupted, but says it will take a village to make it go as smoothly as possible.

“I’m optimistic but I’m also realistic that we are probably going to have some shutdowns here and there. I think the real key is just everybody has to have some patience, flexibility, and we all have to cooperate together,” Stitzle said, “It’s going to be the most difficult year we’ve ever had in education, but I think if we work together we can make the year a success. That’s what I’ve been trying to say to the staff, community and parents. It won’t be easy but I think we can do it.”

Danyel Hall is a parent of two children in the Southwest School Corporation. While having some concerns, she did plan to send her children back to school this fall. She even took her youngest to her kindergarten open house, but at the last minute, she changed her mind.

“I was comfortable with the school’s plan. I know that they were going to keep the kids safe,” Hall explained, “It was just—I’ve been hearing about a lot of high schoolers and junior high students who are coming down with the virus. Before, you didn’t hear of many young kids getting the virus. So that just helped my decision because these young kids are getting it and I don’t want my young kids to get sick.”

Her kids will complete virtual schooling, and Hall can reassess the move after nine weeks. It’s a decision, though, that didn’t come without a personal sacrifice for her. Previously a cafeteria worker at the elementary school in Sullivan, she decided to quit her job in order to stay home with her kids.

“It was a very hard decision. I mean every family needs that extra income but to me, my kids’ health comes before any job,” Hall said.

Superintendent Stitzle says he has a COVID-19 playbook but knows every situation is different and says they will lean heavily on the local health department for guidance. Both he and Hall say they’ll play the next few months by ear, but in-person learning is still certainly important.

“We do need to offer some in-person school,” Stitzle said, “I think the kids really need it but the teachers really need it to. I could see the excitement in their faces yesterday welcoming the kids back in the building.”

“I really want my kids to go to school,” Hall concludes, “My kids need the social interaction with other children. If in nine weeks the cases are slowing down then I will send them back.”

Terre Haute
Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 71°
Robinson
Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Indianapolis
Mostly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Rockville
Mostly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Casey
Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 71°
Terre Haute
Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Marshall
Mostly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 71°
Mostly cloudy, scattered showers and storms.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Local Woman's Back to School Drive

Image

Walk to End Alzheimer's

Image

Sunday Evening: Scattered showers and storms.

Image

Sunday: Increasing clouds, hot. High: 90°

Image

Saturday Evening Forecast

Image

Saturday: Mostly sunny, unseasonably warm. High: 89°

Image

Casey-Westfield

Image

Parke Heritage football

Image

Sullivan football

Image

Robinson football

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1590342

Reported Deaths: 26979
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook60937610925
DuPage1031521352
Will865801083
Lake764741056
Kane65399842
Winnebago38682543
Madison37731569
St. Clair34758561
McHenry32773313
Peoria25738361
Champaign25601182
Sangamon24263266
McLean21611205
Tazewell19559326
Rock Island17631342
Kankakee16523233
Kendall15274105
LaSalle14349275
Macon14248233
Vermilion12908182
Adams12589147
DeKalb11542127
Williamson11206156
Whiteside7813176
Boone756681
Jackson756683
Coles7175112
Ogle705385
Grundy693181
Clinton676498
Franklin669694
Knox6528163
Marion6454135
Macoupin636597
Henry610272
Jefferson5981131
Effingham588980
Livingston564394
Woodford549791
Stephenson540089
Randolph522996
Monroe503299
Christian481980
Morgan479995
Fulton479069
Logan473573
Montgomery462876
Lee454956
Bureau423087
Perry411171
Saline399263
Iroquois391171
Fayette387756
McDonough352155
Jersey319753
Douglas303336
Shelby300343
Crawford298930
Lawrence294631
Union293846
Wayne267957
White261530
Richland256852
Hancock253434
Pike252256
Cass247728
Clark244138
Bond242224
Clay233347
Ford233056
Edgar229844
Carroll223937
Warren220456
Moultrie209331
Johnson208922
Washington204927
Jo Daviess203525
Greene199339
Mason196251
Wabash196115
Massac195144
De Witt192730
Piatt188814
Mercer187035
Cumberland174123
Menard155812
Jasper149518
Marshall133721
Hamilton127221
Brown10138
Pulaski97311
Schuyler9608
Edwards94815
Stark76027
Gallatin7285
Scott6895
Alexander66411
Calhoun6382
Henderson63114
Hardin55713
Putnam5414
Pope4725
Unassigned1582432
Out of IL80

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
Wabash477492
Jasper471961
Jefferson461991
Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
Clay382356
Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
Fayette367176
Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
Crawford142818
Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468