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July 13, 2020

3/23/2020 12:46:00 PM
JCSC adjusts with extended closing
With Gov. Eric Holcomb announcing late last week that all K-12 schools will be closed until May, the Jennings County School Corp. is making plans to adjust, said Teresa Brown, superintendent.

"We are making plans on next steps with school after we receive guidance from multiple sources including the IDOE (Indiana Department of Education), Indiana University and Ivy Tech," Brown told The Sun.

As part of its efforts to reduce the potential of spreading the coronavirus, JCSC closed schools at the end of the school day on Friday, March 13. The original plan was to keep Jennings County schools closed until Monday, April 6. Schools in the county were already scheduled to be out this week for spring break.

In a news release issued Thursday, Hol­comb said all K-12 public schools in Indiana will remain closed until May 1. Private schools are also ordered to remain closed. The date may be revised to extend through the end of the 2019-2020 school year if circumstances warrant.

"Every day we learn more about how to tackle this monster," Holcomb said in the news release. "We are being thoughtful about how to approach every action we are taking in this national public health emergency and putting Hoosiers' health and safety first."

Officials at school corporations throughout the state are dealing with an unprecedented situation. The only circumstance of any similarity in Jennings County and other parts of the state in recent memory came in January-February 1977 and January-February 1978 when a series of blizzards and frigid weather closed schools for weeks.

The COVID-19 crisis, though, is an emergency of even larger dimensions and considerably more dangerous.
Brown stresses that she and others at JCSC will be making plans that are effective as possible.

"I want to make sure we do whatever is needed," Brown said, "and for our (high school) seniors in particular.

"As for the rest, it will depend on what we are able to do with the restrictions in place at the county and state level. We just don't know yet. We will be making thoughtful decisions after consulting with many," she added.

"With students on spring vacation this week and next week e-Learning, we do have some time to make a plan. I have a call tomorrow with the IDOE and I'm hoping some questions are answered," Brown continued.

As part of the plan put in place last week, JCSC is providing five breakfasts and five lunches each e-Learning week to any child under 18 years of age. That included last week and next week, but not this week since it is spring break.

Parents and guardians will be able to pick up food on Thursday, April 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their child's school or from 5 to 6 p.m. at Jennings County High School. The pick-up will be via a drive-through line outside the main offices at each school.

The food service will likely continue during the following weeks, though Brown could not confirm that at this time.

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