Parents react to PHM and Mishawaka school closures

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- “That’s a frustration as a student and for me also as a parent. It is a distraction for me and my wife when we have three kids, high schooler and middle schooler, doing homework and getting around the house,” said parent of the Penn Harris Madison School Corporation, Dr. Tarek Zidan.   

Late Wednesday, the Penn Harris Madison School Corporation and School City of Mishawaka District announced closures for both their high schools and middle schools. The PHM Corporation is planning to make all classes virtual starting November 23rd thru January 15th

PHM Superintendent, Dr. Jerry Thacker, says the decision came down to the rise in coronavirus cases in the district as well as recommendations from the St. Joseph County Health Department.

“As we watch the numbers of coronavirus cases in our schools and in our communities, we have seen a rise,” said PHM Superintendent, Dr. Tacker. “We know we have a lot of coronavirus cases. It is all over the United States, and we are particularly interested in making sure we do our part to slow the virus and keep our students safe as well as our staff and faculty.” 

Dr. Thacker explains that the elementary schools, however, will remain open. 

“We have low incidences of any kind of transmission at the elementary level, and so as we follow the advice of the health professionals, we will continue to find safe learning experiences for them,” said Dr. Thacker.  

One parent of two Penn high schoolers says however that the face to face learning is better for teenager’s psychological and social well-being.

“More for them and their development, it is better for them than being home online learning,” said Dr. Zidan.   

As for Mishawaka High School and John Young Middle School, they will be online learning starting November 30th until January 15th.

John Young Middle School Parents saying that they understand the district’s decision. 

“It stinks on the one hand because we really love the fact that they were back being able to interacting with students again. We understand the difficult decision it is, and the desire to try to keep as many students safe as possible. We know it is a tough call and a tough decision, so we support the school district in whatever they need to do,” said parents of John Young Middle School, Jeremy and Stacie Bobos.   

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