AVON, Ind.— Richard Rivera found himself filling the roles of full-time working father and stand-in teacher when his children shifted to virtual learning.
He couldn’t remember the trigonometry and algebra he studied in high school and worried he wouldn’t be able to help his 10th-grade son with online math homework.
Rivera and his wife chose to send their three children back to school in July because they felt the value of in-person learning outweighed the risks.
However, within two weeks of reopening, the Avon Community School Corporation reported at least nine confirmed COVID-19 cases and announced plans to temporarily halt in-person classes at Avon High School.
High school students, including Rivera’s son, will move to e-learning this Tuesday through Friday, followed by two weeks of “hybrid schedules” aimed at reducing the number of people in classrooms.
“It is our current plan to transition back to fully in-person instruction at Avon High School beginning on Aug. 31,” according to the district website.
Five of the district’s nine COVID-19 cases were among high school students and staff, a district representative said.
Avon Intermediate School West, Avon Intermediate School East, Pine Tree Elementary School and Hickory Elementary School each reported one positive case.
District leaders had no immediate plans to change schedules at the intermediate, middle, and elementary schools but Rivera said he was prepared for districtwide closures.
His children attend Avon High School, Avon Middle School North and Avon Intermediate School West.
“Unfortunately, [the spread of coronavirus] is just going to be something that’s hard to control and I think eventually it’s going to probably lead to [my kids] being home,” Rivera said. “We’re all anticipating that. We think it’s just a matter of time.”
He planned to hire tutors to help his daughter and two sons with e-learning if their schools closed.
Linda Asdale, an Avon resident whose grandchildren attend Pine Tree Elementary, said her family also anticipated possible closures.
“The kids are ready to get back to school… and hopefully they don’t get taken back out. But if they do, we’ll just keep doing what we need to do,” she said.
In March, Avon became the first school district in Indiana to pivot to virtual instruction after a Hickory Elementary student tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The district’s 12 schools enroll 9,871 students and has 618 full-time educators and returned to school on July 29. The high school has 3,115 students and 172 full-time educators.
(Story by Julia Deng)