RUSSIAVILLE – Western School Corporation is moving to virtual learning due to positive COVID-19 tests.
In a letter sent to parents by WSC Superintendent Randy McCracken on Nov. 15, it was announced the corporation is making changes to its schedule by implementing e-learning days between now and the regularly scheduled Thanksgiving break.
The letter noted two high school students, two transportation staff members, a teacher and an additional staff member have all recently tested positive for COVID-19 and must now quarantine.
“According to state and local health officials, the spread is not occurring within the schools, but within the community, which is then affecting the schools,” McCracken said in the letter.
“The positive cases and ultimately the quarantines are now beginning to have a significant impact on our schools, our classrooms, our ability to transport students, our staff and our students. Safety for all is always our number one priority, and we have now reached the point where we need to have a reset, and Thanksgiving break will give us that opportunity.”
Classes held from Nov. 18-20, and Nov. 23-24 will be virtual days. Students will still have Thanksgiving break from Nov. 25-29, and return to in-person instruction Nov. 30.
WSC joins Maconaquah School Corporation and Tipton Community School Corporation in moving to virtual learning, with both of those corporations announcing the shift last week.
According to the letter from WSC, the purpose of the shutdown is to reduce the number of positive cases coming into the schools and then the number who must be quarantined.
“At the present time, our Principals, Directors, and Transportation Department are juggling staff daily to keep the coverage that is needed, and this problem has continued to grow over that last few weeks,” reads the letter. “Teachers are also working to provide instruction for in-class students, as well as quarantined students.”
“Giving us this extra time away from school will ideally give us a chance to stop the positive cases coming into the school right now and the compounding of quarantines.”
The corporation notes it is “imperative” students do not gather with others outside their own families, and to social distance, wear masks and frequently wash hands during the next two weeks – even when school is not in session. To report a positive case to the corporation’s hotline, call 765-889-2123.