Fort Wayne Community Schools announces 'Return to Learn Plan'

Fort Wayne Community Schools plans to provide in-school learning five days a week for elementary students, and a blended model for middle and high school students when the new school year begins Monday, Aug. 10.

Posted: Jul 15, 2020 2:46 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2020 10:59 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Fort Wayne Community Schools will offer parents multiple options as students return for the 2020-21 school year.

Officials said FWCS plans to provide in-school learning five days a week for elementary students, and a blended model for middle and high school students when the new school year begins Monday, Aug. 10.

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Fort Wayne Community Schools

Students at all grade levels would also have an option to choose a fully remote learning model.

“We have many details yet to work out in these plans, but we wanted to inform parents now that there will be options as we start the school year in the midst of a pandemic,” Superintendent Mark Daniel said. “We understand families and staff members have reservations about returning fully to the classroom because of the many unknowns about COVID-19. We also know that in-person education with our professional teachers provides the highest level of engagement for students. Because there are so many unique family situations, we know one option would not work for everyone. The most important thing now is to support our students in continued learning, regardless of the format.”

While in FWCS buildings and on school buses, all students and staff will wear face coverings and practice social distancing much as possible.

Daniel said visitors to schools and field trips will be limited.

The proposed schedule for middle and high school will have students attending on Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday.

The groups will alternate attending in-person on Wednesdays.

When students are not in the classroom, they will have e-learning.

Daniel added that the district is working to ensure siblings are assigned to the same cohort, regardless of the school(s) they attend.

Elementary students will attend in-person classes "daily to ease the burden on families who would otherwise need childcare."

“We opted against the hybrid model for elementary to avoid having students in multiple facilities each week, and thereby increasing opportunities for COVID-19 exposure,” Daniel said. “With protective measures in place, we believe a five-day-a-week schedule for younger students reduces opportunities for spreading the virus.”

Parents wanting the fully remote learning option will need to make that selection using the MyFWCS Parent Portal.

Parents will receive instructions on how to access the portal when it opens.

FWCS officials said they are still working out details to meet "the needs of special populations of students (special education, ELL, etc.), providing meals for students, distributing technology, orientations for pre-K, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade, and specific schedules for remote learning, among other issues."

The latest information will be shared on the FWCS Return to Learn website as decisions are made Daniel added.

Questions and comments can be submitted through Let’s Talk on the District’s website by selecting Return to Learn.

Earlier this week FWCS called parents and guardians of students to get their thoughts on in-person learning versus E-learning for the upcoming year.

Northwest Allen County School leaders approved a plan Monday that will allow both in-person and remote learning options.

East Allen County Schools will introduce their return plans to the school board on Tuesday, July 21.

Southwest Allen County Schools had their plans approved by the school board.

SACS said families will receive an email and the SACS Return to School Handbook by the end of the week.

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