Indianapolis Public School leaders discuss adding COVID-19 protocols ahead of fall semester

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INDIANAPOLIS – Conversations are happening now that will determine what the fall semester will look like for 30,000 Indianapolis Public School students.

“We are here to serve and support them,” said IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson, “We are continuing to extend grace to one another, to each other during this time.”

Behind every decision, Superintendent Johnson wants families to know, that’s their children are top priority. As we approach the last day of e-learning on June 2 and virtual graduations, there are still many unknowns. Will schools reopen? Will there be a change to the school calendar?

“For summer we will stay focused on supporting those high school students through a virtual summer school structure,” Johnson added.

IPS will be instilling COVID safety protocols at all facilities to prepare. Although Johnson believes virtual learning next year, is a very real, reality.

“How do we make the best of the situation for our students and families?” Johnson asked.

In the weeks to come, IPS will be surveying families to find out if they feel comfortable enough to send their kids back to school and what steps they need to take, if that’s cutting classroom sizes or rotating schedules. Superintendent Johnson says it’s yet to be determined if teachers would be required to wear masks, if classroom instruction resumes.

“We need to hear from them,” said Johnson, “What are their priorities in making sure their children are safe and cared for during what has been an incredibly uncertain time.”

Right now, Johnson doesn’t expect the 20-21 budget will be an issue, but she believes big decisions during the upcoming legislative session will impact the district.

“If we look at data from the 2008 great recession that schools have still not recovered from the hits that we took during that time, and so this is even more substantial than that, I think it will incumbent on schools and communities to really, vocally and deeply advocate for the resources that we deserve to have,” said Johnson.

Indianapolis Public Schools will continue the meal program at all locations throughout the summer. So far, the district has served 325,000 meals.

Click here to stay up-to-date on the IPS response plan.

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