Schools announce plans for rest of school year

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

Students and families in Dubois County can expect to end the school year completing assignments as they have been since schools first closed in mid-March.

In letters to parents sent out early Friday afternoon, local school superintendents explained their plans for continuing instruction through the end of the school year.

All four Dubois County schools will continue the current schedule of instructing students on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with Mondays and Fridays used for teacher planning. The last day of instruction for students will be May 14.

North Spencer Schools will also continue following the schedule they established over the last few weeks. Students will have instruction Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while Tuesdays and Thursdays will be for teaching planning.
Schools will also continue to offer grab-and-go food service for families in need. Families can contact their individual schools for more information on those processes.

For seniors and their families wondering about milestones like prom and commencement ceremony, the superintendents said school leadership will do what they can to reschedule those events when the threat of COVID-19 diminishes, but for now, they are postponed.

“It is the corporation’s desire to explore every option to making this ceremony a reality, even if it is delayed into the summer and even if it has to be limited in attendance,” Greater Jasper Superintendent Tracy Lorey wrote in her letter to parents.

The other three Dubois County superintendents expressed similar thoughts in their letters.

“Our seniors have worked so hard to get to this point and deserve to be recognized and celebrated,” Southeast Dubois Superintendent Jamie Pund wrote in her letter.

North Spencer Superintendent Dan Scherry said administrators at Heritage Hills High School are looking at what can be done to offer seniors a “final goodbye,” though they are unsure what that will be.

“They’re trying to figure out a creative way to do that,” Scherry said.

Seniors who were on track to graduate at the beginning of the semester will still graduate, according to remarks from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick during Gov. Eric Holcomb’s daily press conference Thursday. McCormick said seniors will get credit for courses in which they are currently enrolled so they can meet their graduation requirements. In their letters, local superintendents said they are seeking clarification on those comments and how to comply from the Indiana Department of Education.

Schools are also developing plans for how students can retrieve their personal belongings from the schools.

“As soon as it is clear, we will set up a time for personal items to be picked up and school items to be brought back,” Northeast Dubois Superintendent Bill Hochgesang wrote in his letter.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association also announced on Thursday the cancellation of all spring sports.

“In a community like ours that values and supports this piece of the educational experience for our kids, I know that hurts,” Southwest Dubois Superintendent Tim LaGrange wrote. “I am especially saddened for our senior athletes, to end their careers in this way. I think what we as adults value most in high school sports is the life lessons our kids learn ... and this world wide pandemic has certainly given our student athletes a new perspective and an opportunity to grow and mature as we are all forced to respond.”

All other school events and activities are canceled as well.

The superintendents also thanked parents, students and staff for being flexible during the pandemic and working together with administrators. Pund especially thanked parents for taking on the additional responsibilities.

“We appreciate your kindness and patience,” Pund wrote. “We also recognize that this places a new challenge on you as you help your child while managing your own work responsibilities.”

Parents and families are encouraged to reach out to their children’s teachers or other school staff if they need help or have questions.




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