INDIANAPOLIS–One of the state’s largest school districts is staying open, but some classrooms may still be empty. Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Aleesia Johnson told CNN this weekend that the district has to rll with the punches while dealing with the current surge of COVID-19.
“We can have this ‘north star’ of keeping our school district open, understanding that there will be individual cases that might require us to pivot to virtual learning again to ensure that our students and staff are safe,” said Johnson.
Johnson explained that she believes it is important for both students and staff to stay in-person. Some districts in other large cities, such as Chicago, have gone back to virtual learning.
“When we are able to have our students together with their peers and their teacher in-person for learning, that’s the best environment in which we can provide the instruction that they need,” she said. “Our job and our north star right now is to provide in-person learning to as many students as we can, even as we’re navigating really high community transmission here in Indianapolis.”
Johnson said that even though community transmission is high, the district’s community transmission among students has been low.
She said masks and the promotion of vaccinations are part of the basis for keeping the district in-person.
“We’ve moved all of our staff meetings and any adult gatherings to being fully virtual at this time. We’re pausing on field trips and any extracurricular activities for our elementary schools at this time.”
Johnson said contact tracing is still in place and the district’s website contains a tracker for people to see how COVID is affecting the district at any time.