Rockport school goes to virtual learning

By The Associated Press

ROCKPORT — A southwestern Indiana elementary school has entered its second week of virtual learning with more than half of its students and staff members in COVID-19 quarantine.

Rockport Elementary School in Spencer County completed the 2020-21 school year with “100% face-to-face learning," but the pre-K through fifth-grade school has been in all virtual instruction since Aug. 17, said Principal Rick Hunt.

A handful of other Indiana schools have also switched to virtual instruction in response to the spread of the coronavirus' highly contagious delta variant.

With more than 50% of the Rockport school's students and faculty in quarantine and knowing there had been some coronavirus transmission between students, Hunt said school officials believed it was necessary to switch temporarily to virtual instruction.

“We all let our guard down over the summer,” he told the Evansville Courier & Press.

More than half of the school's 310 students and its 46 staff members were in COVID-19 quarantine Monday as the school entered the second week of virtual instruction.

Less than 5% of the total student body have been confirmed positive for COVID, but about 25% of the school’s total staff have tested positive.

Students are expected to return to in-school classes on Aug. 30, Hunt said, with stricter enforcement of personal distancing and masking procedures.

The school, which is part of the South Spencer School Corporation, is located in the Ohio River city of Rockport, about 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) southeast of Evansville.

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