CoronavirusIndiana

Guidance Released for Reopening Indiana Schools

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) on Friday, June 5, released re-entry recommendations for the 2020-2021 school year pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: These are recommendations, not requirements. The final decisions will be up to individual school corporations. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb will address this during his June 5 press conference.

These recommendations were released by IDOE on Friday in the form of a 37-page document, called “Indiana’s Considerations for Learning and Safe Schools,” or IN-CLASS.

IN-CLASS was developed in partnership with the Governor’s office, the Indiana State Department of Health, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, the Indiana High School Athletic Association, and IDOE’s re-entry Advisory Group, which is comprised of practitioners and professional organizations.

Highlights of IN-CLASS via IDOE:

Social Distancing:

  • Schedule specified groups of students to attend in-person school on alternate days or half days to minimize the number of students in the building. Those students not attending in-person should be expected to engage in remote/continuous learning.
  • Consider year-round schooling with alternating breaks to minimize the numbers of students in the building at any time.
  • Provide in-person instruction to elementary students and increase distance learning opportunities for secondary grade levels.
  • Offer both in-person and remote instruction based on student need and parent concerns.

Review course sizes, structure, and classrooms to decrease infection:

  • Keep the same group of children with the same group of staff to maintain “static” contact.
  • Move classes outdoors whenever possible.
  • Rearrange desks to increase space between students.
  • Require students to remain seated in the classroom and assign seats.
  • Eliminate activities that combine classes or grade levels.
  • Eliminate or minimize whole staff gatherings/meetings.

Mask guidance by the IN-CLASS document includes:

  • STUDENTS: Mask-wearing requirements or recommendations in schools should be consistent with state and local guidelines.
    • Some students may be required to wear additional PPE (i.e. health-related, special conditions, etc.) when directed to do so by student health plans.
    • It may be necessary for schools to provide masks for those students.
    • Additional accommodations may need to be made for students based on their individual health plan.
  • NON-STUDENTS: Some non-students may be required to wear additional PPE (i.e. health-related, custodial staff, specialized positions, etc.) when directed to do so by district/school protocol or the employee’s supervisor. It may be necessary for schools to provide masks.

You can find more information on IDOE’s commitment to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic by visiting www.doe.in.gov/covid-19.

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