VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - It’s that time of the year again. Tuesday marked the first day of school for the Vigo County School Corporation.
Just over 11,000 students spanning 27 schools in Vigo County chose to go back in person. News 10 spoke to Vigo County Schools’ Communications Director Bill Riley about how this school year will work.
Vigo County School Corporation will operate under an “A-B” format where students will attend school in-person every other day. 5,600 students attended the first day on Tuesday, and a different 5,600 kids will attend on Wednesday. Students will use remote learning on their days away from the physical classroom.
Riley says just under 3,000 students chose either hybrid learning or the Vigo Virtual Success Academy.
He says he’s incredibly happy that the first day even happened. He says it took a lot of hard work, flexibility, and patience, and, no matter where students began their first day, it calls for some celebration.
“We started with a plan. We said that plan was going to be fluid and change. It’s changed and it will probably change again,” Riley said, “All along our principals, our teachers, and our students have been flexible. Our parents have weathered these changes and I think everyone is excited for their kid to get back to learning.”
Riley says he knows this year will be different due to COVID-19, but it’s still an exciting time.
“I saw a school bus this morning for the first time in 5 months and I’m really excited to have our kids back in school, back to learning, and back to seeing friendly adult faces in our building,” he remarked.
This year, though, is different. A host of safety precautions are in place for students and staff amid the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic.
It may cause a mixture of feelings for parents sending their kids back to the classroom.
Katrina King has two kids at Terre Haute South and three at Dixie Bee Elementary School. She expressed her thoughts on the situation.
“A combination of everything! A little bit anxious. A little concerned and excited as well,” King said of her feelings, “For us, I really feel like school isn’t going to be in session very long so, I went ahead and sent my kids and let them have that interaction before they are completely virtual. My second option would have been to do the hybrid.”
King says she just wanted to have transparency from the schools to make an informed decision for her children this school year. She feels like she got that and admired the staff members she spoke with for making her children’s safety a top priority.
“I’ve just been very impressed with all of the teachers and administrative staff at both schools and how they’ve been very welcoming to questions and providing adequate information and all the things their doing in their classroom to keep our kiddos safe,” King concluded.
Riley says the school corporation will re-evaluate their current educational model at Labor Day. For now, he’s just enjoying seeing students going back to school and continuing to further their education.