VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Vigo County School Corporation officials say they are making a change to their back to school calendar.
Originally, the school year was set to start on August 11. It has been pushed back one week to August 18. They say this is not because of the COVID-19 positive rate.
"It is definitely not due to the rate of COVID-19 in our county which continues to be low," Bill Riley, Director of Communications for VCSC said. "But I would be lying if I said it wasn't COVID related."
Officials say there are three reasons for the delay. One of those is a Chromebook delay. Riley said they were told last week the Chromebooks they ordered in May were on a shipment delay.
"It was a gut punch last week," he said. "Our teachers anticipated being able to use that tool in their classroom. They need more time to react."
The second reason is the response to alternative options,
"We need more time to move staff around. We need more time to contact parents who selected that to make sure they understand what that model is," Riley said. "We just need to make sure that from day one is a good educational model for all involved"\
Finally, he said building-level planning is a factor. He said each school still needs time to incorporate safety measures and make sure it fits their school.
"The way that each school will be able to live out those safety guidelines will look different due to the population of students and due to the architecture of the building," he said. "I think our principals need more time. We've thrown a lot at our principals."
See their explanations for each factor below.
- Chromebook delay - Last week, we received word that our shipment of Chromebooks for high schoolers and grades 3-8, ordered in May, has been delayed. We want to give our teachers more time to react to this delay.
- Response to alternative options - The Vigo County School Corporation has several alternative options to the traditional school model and the additional time will be used to react to each family’s choice, adjusting staffing to make sure every child has a quality education this year. Families who wanted an alternative selected their choice by yesterday, and principals are contacting each child’s family to follow up. We also continue to refine our secondary instructional model.
- Building-level planning - The Vigo County School Corporation has the safest possible in-school plan, and an extra week will allow our 27 schools time to define how each building will handle important parts of the plan like meals, passing periods, and recess.
Riley said he knows in-person learning is more than just school. That's why the corporation is doing everything it can to keep traditional schooling an option.
"They come to our school to hear an encouraging word from a teacher. They come to our school to be fed. They come to our school to feel safe," Riley said.
Riley said he does not think they will have to push the start date back anymore. He said he thinks one week is plenty of time to get everything in order.