INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Public Schools said Tuesday night it will bring some students back to the classroom in three weeks, and all students and staff will be required to wear face coverings at all times.
The in-person learning option applies to all IPS students, from pre-kindergarten through Grade 12, but how each grade level makes its return is a little different.
The first group to return in person on Oct. 5 is students in pre-K through Grade 3. The students in grades 4-12 will remain fully remote that week.
The following week, the week of Oct. 12, the entire district will be on remote learning. That week was originally supposed to be fall break, but the district adjusted its calendar to make up for the two-week delayed start to the school year.
By the week of Oct. 19, all students who choose in-person will be invited back to their classrooms. Students in pre-K through Grade 6 will have the option to come in person or remain fully remote; those students can be back in their classrooms five days a week. Students in grades 7-12 will operate under a hybrid model; students with last names beginning with the letters A through M will be in the buildings Mondays and Tuesdays, the latter half of the alphabet will be in the buildings on Thursdays and Fridays, and Wednesdays will be a designated virtual learning day for all students while staff clean to prepare for the second group.
District leaders say this plan could change depending on how many families choose to come back in person.
“The covid virus has required us to make and do some things that were quite frankly difficult to make but they were made on the basis of our faculty and student’s health. In classroom learning is the best way to provide that education so we are working to get to that for all of our students,” said board president Michael O’Connor.
All families were sent a survey and have between now and September 21st to let schools know if their children plan to come back to the classroom and if they plan to use the school’s transportation.
IPS also will have a number of new safety measures.
- Students and staff will be required to wear masks and face shields at all times.
- IPS will provide at least one reusable mask to each student, and a mask and face shield to each staff member.
- Touchless water fountains are being installed at all schools, and reusable water bottles will be made available for all students.
- Barriers have been added to offices.
As far as transportation, the district is relying on families that have to ability to drive their children to schools. Any students on school buses will have to wear masks and sit spaced apart.