GREENWOOD, Ind. — Most Johnson County schools are adjusting their class schedules following a rise in COVID-19 cases. But Center Grove Schools, the largest school district in the county, is not.
Greenwood Middle and High School students will begin a hybrid learning schedule Monday, Nov. 9 due to COVID-19 concerns.
Superintendent Dr. Kent DeKoninck sent an email to parents and staff to announce the change.
"It was a painful decision because our students, our staff, our community, our parents have been great partners with us and helping mitigate COVID cases within our own school system,” said Dr. DeKoninck.
Elementary students will not be affected and will still remain in the classroom five days a week.
On Wednesday, the Indiana State Department of Health placed Johnson County in the “orange” level of community spread for COVID-19, which recommends a hybrid learning schedule for grades 6-12.
"I was just glad we were able to get this far into the school year,” said Katy Brawley, a mother with four children in the school system. “So, I know it's indefinite. So, who knows if it'll go until the end of the school year? I have a senior, so I'd like for her to finish up school at school."
Friday, Nov. 6 will be an e-learning day for all middle and high school students. Starting Monday, those students will go to in-person classes just two days a week indefinitely.
- Students with last names that begin with A-L will have in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays and then remote learning on Thursdays and Fridays.
- Students with last names that begin with M-Z will have remote learning on Mondays and Tuesdays and then in-person classes on Thursday and Friday.
- Wednesdays will be used for teacher office hours and online instruction.
Franklin Community Schools announced a move to what it calls “Phase II” of their hybrid schedule for the middle school and high school starting Monday.
Indian Creek Middle School and High School will temporarily move to a hybrid learning model starting Monday.
Edinburgh Middle School and High School will move to a hybrid teaching schedule on Monday through Nov. 24. The school district plans to return to in-person learning following the Thanksgiving break on Monday, Nov. 30.
Clark-Pleasant Schools (Whiteland High School) is considering a move to a hybrid schedule, but no decision has been made yet.
Center Grove Schools has decided not to change from in-person learning at this time. Superintendent Rich Arkanoff sent a message to families that read in part:
“At this time, Center Grove’s metrics do not support making a change from Traditional (In-Person) learning.
“As we have shared, the IDH map and metrics are two of several factors we are reviewing daily. (Metrics are available on our website at this link.) Within our school district this school year, CGCSC has had 61 positive COVID-19 cases. Since mid-September, we have seen very little spread within our schools from a positive case to a close contact. Currently, we have around 2% of our 8,800 students out due to COVID-Related Absences. We attribute that minimal impact to the use of face coverings by our students and staff, increased handwashing, and the exceptional work of our custodial staff to clean and sanitize our buildings. We are also seeing lower numbers of close contacts being quarantined, thanks to families who are keeping students home when they are feeling ill or waiting for COVID test results.
"Other considerations that weigh heavily into our decision are the academic impact and mental health of our students when they are not able to come to school. We know many of our students struggle when learning remotely. We have also seen an increase in mental health concerns among our students this school year. We cannot provide the same level of support to students when they are not in our buildings every day. We also know that when students are in our schools, we know they have direct access to two nutritious meals each day.”
The Indiana Department of Health map shows most counties in Indiana are now at the “orange” level. Parents in those counties should check with your school system for any possible changes to the class schedule.