Schools work to comply with extended closure

By Mandy Underwood

On Thursday, March 19, Indiana Governor Holcomb ordered all Indiana private and public schools to be shut down through May 1. The State Department will re-evaluate the situation as it progresses and further closures may take place.

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) also announced the cancellation of the upcoming Spring 2020 assessment windows. That includes IREAD 3, ILEARN (Grades 3-8 and Biology ECA), I AM, WIDA, and ISTEP+ for sophomores.

Wabash County schools have been posting updates for parents and students in order to inform them of the current situation and how they are handling the extended closure and changes.

MSD of Wabash County is currently developing a schedule for eLearning Days to include the month of April.

Current eLearning days: March 20, 24, 26, 30 and April 1.

Spring Break: April 3-10th

Changes from original eLearning Day plans include:

MSDWC teachers will now work from home during eLearning Days. Due to the unprecedented circumstances surrounding this situation, MSD is focused on providing opportunities for students to continue to be engaged.

“We realize there are many hardships related to this situation and want to be flexible. Our teachers are investigating lessons and different modes of communication to engage in a learning process,” said MSD Superintendent Mike Keaffaber in a letter to students, staff and parents.

MSD is also continuing to distribute lunch packs to students for free regardless of the students’ financial status.

The Grab and Go food distribution has been expanded to add seven new pass out sited. All sites are: Meadowbrook at the bus stop, Urbana Yoke Parish Church, Lagro United Methodist Church, Poann Paw Paw Township Public Library, Metro North Elementary at door 14, LaFontaine United Methodist Church, Somerset in front of the convenience store, Friends Church in the north parking lot, and Southwood J. Sr. High School at door 5. These new sites begin passing out on Wednesday, March 25, with all nine locations having pick up times from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. This distribution will continue on March 30, April 1, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, and 29.

All people wanting to receive a lunch on any of these days and at any site need to sign up by going online to https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfJHxO815T6TTrsux…/viewform

Students can access their grades on Skyward. All phone calls made to MSD are being forwarded to a staff member.
A tip for students about their school laptops was also included in the letter to students.

“Tech Tip for our Students: Don't let your school laptop go completely dead because the lack of power could cause it to lose its date and time. Losing the date and time could prevent your computer from being able to connect to the Internet. If that happens, you can help your computer get the date/time back by connecting to the Wifi at or around any MSD Wabash or Wabash City school or admin office...even if you’re out in the parking lot.”

Wabash City Schools food services are also passing out meals at nine different sites on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays.

From 11-11:15 a.m., Southside Fire Station located at 1470 Vernon St., City Park located at 800 W. Hill St., and St. Matthew’s United Church located at 1717 N. Wabash St.

From 11:45 a.m.-12 p.m., Friendship Hill Playground located across from YMCA, Wabash North Wesleyan Church located at 600 Manchester Ave., and Wabash Church of the Brethren located at 645 Bond St.

From 12:30-12:45 p.m., Hannah Park located at 775 E. Hill St., Ivy Tech back parking lot located at 277 N. Thorn St. and Wabash Alliance Church located at 1206 N. Cass St.

The eLearning schedule for students can be found on the Wabash City Schools District Facebook page, along with weekly video updates from WCS superintendent Jason Callahan.

In last week’s video, he let students and parents know that they are working toward making the most out of the current situation.

“While the emerging health threat has caused all of us unprecedented challenges to our normal lives, we at Wabash City Schools seek to find opportunities in the face of these challenges,” he said.

Manchester Community Schools superintendent Teresa Gremaux also sent out a letter addressing parents and students.

“Learning, not testing will be the focus upon the possible return,” she said in regards to all State assessments being cancelled and not taking place even if school resumes.

Meal pick up locations for MCS remain the same, and include:

Manchester Elementary School, Manchester Intermediate School and Manchester Jr./Sr. High School. Meals will distribute in a drive through manner at the curb in front of Door #1 at each building, or by walking up to Door #1. Parents and children will not be allowed in the buildings; 34 E. Main St. Disko, from 11-11:10 a.m.; Liberty Mills Park, Liberty Mills from 11:30 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.; and Servia Park, Servia from 12-12:10 p.m.

The eLearning schedule for MSC can also be found on the school corporations Facebook Page.

The Access Learning Academy, like the other schools around the county, also is experiencing changes because of COVID-19.

“If our students are able to work at home, they are,” Access Director Liz Hobbs said. “We have study guides available that the kids can’t get to but we can. So, if a kid is having trouble with a particular lesson, Laura (Helm, Academy director) is screen-shotting that study guide and sending it to them.

“We’re trying to provide as much of the original study help as we can, with the exception, obviously, of the fact to face tutoring.”

The Access also is expanding its food program. Originally, food was available at the New Journey Church on Monday and Tuesdays and at the Access building on Wednesday through Friday. Beginning this week, food is available from 4 to 5 p.m. at both locations. New Journey is located at 1721 Vernon St., while the Access Youth Center is located at 74 W. Canal.

The food program, Hobbs noted, is receiving help from various restaurants around the area. B&K Root Beer donated hot dogs on Friday night, while Pizza King is donating pizzas on Monday. The Habenero Grill is donating food on Wednesdays.

“We contacted them because we wanted to support local as much as we can,” Hobbs said. “In talking with Kim (Osborne, Pizza King owner), she was like, ‘We can just provide that.’”

Osborne said “people are awesome to me, so I want to give it back.”


Posted on 2020 Mar 24