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South Bend Community School Corporation proposes three weeks of eLearning to start school year

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Dr. Todd Cummings, Superintendent for the South Bend Community School Corporation, has released a new proposal for the 2020-2021 school year. If approved by the board, all students would be learning virtually from August 12th to the 28th.

At the end of August, those that choose in-person learning will gradually phase back into school buildings.

“Students, parents, even teachers are administrative staff, they’re ready to come back, but we have to make sure that we keep them safe. It’s what we do,” said Dr. Cummings.

The original plan was to have students physically back in classrooms on September 1st, but that date is now in question after discussions with the health department and Dr. Mark Fox.

“We’re going to work with Dr. Fox and the department of health to come up with a matrices so what kind of infection rate data do we use to guide reentry to schools,” said Dr. Cummings.

A counter-proposal was introduced at Monday’s virtual work session by the South Bend National Education Association that would extend the eLearning period to a total of 9 weeks.

Additionally, all extracurricular activities would be suspended during that time.

This second proposal has the support of two of the board’s doctors.

“We’re really grateful for the NEA’s comments tonight and we’ll work with our board to do what’s best,” said Dr. Cummings.

No matter the proposal the SBCSC goes with, students will be able to continue eLearning if they don’t feel comfortable returning to school.

“We’re committed to make sure that our buildings are safe for students and staff. We’re training our folks to make sure high touch surfaces wiped down so that are desks are clean and we’re training our folks to be able to do and recognize that,” said Dr. Cummings.

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