South Bend Schools releases COVID-19 classroom plans, options

(Photo supplied/South Bend Community School Corporation)

South Bend School leaders want parents to know their children will be safe when classrooms open to students next month.

Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings released the district’s guidelines for students during the school board meeting on Monday, July 14.

It includes the wearing of face masks, physical distancing, cleaning of buildings and protocols on how to communicate with parents, and whether to dismiss students for e-learning in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings issued the following letter to parents:

Dear SBCSC families,

This evening, together with the Board of School Trustees, I released our initial plans to reopen our schools for the coming semester. I realize that these guidelines come at a time of great ongoing uncertainty for our whole community, at local and national levels. Above all, our primary focus is to keep students, teachers, and staff safe.

Please know that these plans are adaptable, and are fully based on our collaboration with the St. Joseph County Health Department, Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Indiana Department of Education, and Indiana Governor Eric Holcolmb.

I want to express my gratitude for your patience, support, and input over the past months as we worked to find ways to best determine how we could safely and realistically serve and support each of our students, teachers, and staff. Especially, thank you for your feedback and ideas. I’m grateful for all who have taken the time to provide their insight.
Please review our plan to move cautiously forward in starting this academic year on Wednesday, August 12.

Your input, as always, is crucial in our work.

Please continue to share your concerns and ideas during the coming weeks. I hope you’ll join me and bring your questions to the following coming virtual forums on Facebook Live:

● Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 14 at 4:00 p.m. (Virtual Talks with Todd)
● Tuesday, July 21 at 9:00 a.m. (Virtual Talks with Todd)
● Thursday, July 23 at 5:00 p.m. (Virtual Strategic Planning and School Reopening
Feedback Town Hall, held in Spanish)
Also, I will be available to speak with you in-person at these locations this week for a Re-entry

School Plan Listening Tour:

● Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Charles Black Center
3419 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN, 46619
(The Community Room will be set up to accommodate appropriate social distancing.)
● Wednesday, July 15 at the Kroc Center from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
900 W Western Ave., South Bend, IN 46601
(To be held in the tents outside of the Center.)
● Thursday, July 16 at Cultivating Life Ministries, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
1042 W. Western Ave., South Bend, IN 46601
(To be held outdoors.)
● Thursday, July 16 at Riley High School, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
1902 S. Fellows St., South Bend, IN 46613
(Doors open at 6:15 p.m., to be held in the school auditorium.)
● Friday, July 17, at Howard Park from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
219 S. St. Louis Blvd., South Bend, IN 46617
(Rooms B and C will be set up to accommodate appropriate social distancing.)

Know that we will keep you updated with any changes as soon as possible.

Please, wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice safe social distancing. We must continue to work together to do all we can to keep our community safe and healthy. Thank you, again, for all you do for our students and one another.

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