LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An Indiana school district has announced that it is moving indefinitely to an online-only classroom model in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Students in Washington Township Schools will not return to the classroom as originally planned, according to a report by Fox 59. Those students will have online-only classes for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The MSD Washington Township School Board made the announcement on Monday. It is the first school district in Indianapolis to announce that they won't reopen for in-person classes.
"While several of the most significant numeric and statistical measures relating to the coronavirus continue to rise, and while we understand that continuing responsibility to address students' educational, social and emotional needs, it is the Board's judgment that the best course of action in the near term is not to have students return to the classroom while coronavirus indicators increase," the MSD Washington Township School Board said, in a statement. "Therefore, while we will reopen beginning July 30, as previously decided, today the Board has voted that all classes will be virtual until the Board determines otherwise. At each of our upcoming Board meetings we will carefully examine where we are locally in the fight against the coronavirus as we consider when students may return to the classroom."
All extracurricular, co-curricular and athletic events or programs are suspended until further notice.
The school district also said limited guidance from state and local leaders and health officials put them in a difficult position.
During a Monday afternoon press conference, Washington Township School Board President john Fencl said at each school board meeting, they'll look at the new data and see when students might be able to return to classrooms.
Fencl said he and the board "recognizes this is a difficult decision that has pros and cons to it."
He also noted parents would need to pivot on short notice, and said they'd be passing along information to help them.
The district will also help families without internet access by providing hotspot devices and other technology.
Ali Brown, Indianapolis City-County-Councillor - District Five, released the following statement about the school board's decision.
"MSD Washington Twp has decided to make all schooling virtual for the start of the school year," he said. "I am hopeful that other schools will follow suit. These choices are very hard for schools and parents, but we cannot allow our teachers and children [to] become sacrifices to the economy."
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