July 15, 2020
Good Afternoon Warren Students, Families, and Staff,
Today marks the 125th day that we have not been able to see our students and staff in person. In that time, we have been working relentlessly to create a reopening plan that provides both access to our students and provides a safe environment for our students and staff. We have been in consistent collaboration with local and state health officials to make the decision to reopen our Warren classrooms. As of Monday, July 13th, our Marion County Public Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health have both provided school districts the authority to reopen.
Each week, I have been sharing that we will be offering an IN-PERSON learning model and a VIRTUAL learning model for our Warren students. After much collaboration with our Warren community, school board, and staff, we will be reopening the 2020-21 school year as follows:
All K-12 Students will have access to the VIRTUAL model.
Preschool will offer 3 and 5 day IN-PERSON classes. Classes can be either full day or half day.
Kindergarten - 5th Grade will be in a 5 day IN-PERSON model with an option for a 5 day VIRTUAL model. Students in the VIRTUAL model will be held to the same expectations and requirements of the IN-PERSON model.
Students in 6th - 12th grade will operate on an ALTERNATING DAY schedule. Students will be assigned to a cohort that will follow either a Black schedule or a Gold schedule. 6th-12th grade students will have both an IN-PERSON and VIRTUAL experience.
For example, students on the Black Schedule in week 1 will be IN-PERSON 3 days a week and VIRTUAL 2 days a week. In week 2 of the Black Schedule, students will be VIRTUAL 3 days a week and IN-PERSON 2 days week. The Gold Schedule will run the opposite. This model will allow us to decrease our student capacity by at least 50% and will allow us to better physically distance throughout the school. It will also provide us the opportunity to make sure our students have access to breakfast and lunch on a consistent basis. This schedule will not be altered for our employees. They will continue to work 5 days a week.
As part of our reopening plan, I will be asking the board tonight to approve a modified 2020-21 school calendar that will adjust the start date from July 29 to August 6. By moving this date back, we are able to:
Continue monitoring the Marion County COVID-19 cases and hopefully see a decrease in the number of new cases due to the July 9th Mask Mandate.
Provide our staff additional time to prepare for the new ALTERNATING DAY schedule.
Ensure that all of our safety measures are in place with signage, sanitation stations, and other precautionary measures.
By adjusting the calendar, I am recommending that we use 5 days from our 2 week spring break and moving our last day of school from Thursday, May 27 to Friday, May 28th.
Our school board meeting will be live streamed this evening and can be viewed at vimeo.com/msdwarrentownship. Comments or questions can be directed to myself, our school board president or our school board secretary.
I believe that is critically important to have our students back in our care and I know that the plan being put forth will not please everyone. We will continue to be flexible and responsive to the needs of our students and staff while ensuring the safety of everyone.
I thank you for your continued investment in Warren students and schools.
Dr. Tim Hanson, Superintendent of Schools for MSD Warren Township