Fort Wayne Community Schools announced Wednesday that the district's five high schools will switch to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's a temporary move, effective Monday, Nov. 23, through Friday, Dec. 24.
FWCS joins similar decisions by the East Allen County Schools, Northwest Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools.
The FWCS statement reads:
"Because of high community spread of COVID-19 in Allen County and the impact it is having on staffing building, all Fort Wayne Community Schools high school students will be learning remotely beginning Monday, Nov. 23, through Friday, Dec. 4.
"FWCS is only switching high school students at this point because they are most able to work independently and do not require childcare. New guidance from the Indiana Department of Health released this week also advises that K-8 should be the priority for in-person instruction when a community reaches Red Status. Making this shift allows us to assign our limited number of substitute teachers to elementary and middle schools.
"Following the Thanksgiving holiday, FWCS administrators will re-evaluate and determine plans for the remainder of the semester.
"FWCS is still asking parents to make their selection for remote or blended learning for their children for second semester. Parents should log into the myFWCS Parent Portal at https://myfwcs.fortwayneschools.org by Monday, Nov. 23."
Southwest Allen County Schools and Northwest Allen County Schools announced virtual learning expansion last week.
On Nov. 11, Southwest Allen County Schools shifted to virtual learning at the secondary level through Monday, Nov. 30, following Thanksgiving Break. The change affects Homestead High School and Summit and Woodside middle schools.
Superintendent Phil Downs explained the decision in a Nov. 9 letter to the community. He said a shortage of substitute teachers forced the decision.
Downs said all SACS elementary schools will remain open and no changes are proposed for our K-5 students at this time.
Northwest Allen County Schools announced Thursday it would shift all onsite students at Carroll High School, Carroll Middle School and Maple Creek Middle School to remote learning beginning Friday, Nov. 13.
In a letter to parents, NACS Superintendent Chris Himsel said the decision was in response to a “significant increase in (COVID-19) cases this week at the secondary level.” Elementary schools will continue with onsite learning activities as the recent increase in cases has been concentrated at the secondary level, according to the letter.
The shift to remote learning at CMS, MCMS and CHS will continue through Tuesday, Nov. 24. The district intends to return to onsite learning activities following Thanksgiving break Monday, Nov. 30.
East Allen County Schools posted this advisory on its Facebook page about 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16:
"East Allen County Schools will be changing to all virtual learning in grades 7 – 12 beginning on Wednesday, November 18th through Tuesday, November 24th. Thanksgiving Break is scheduled from Wednesday, November 25th through Sunday, November 29th. We are planning for students in grades 7 - 12 to return on Monday, November 30th; however, this may be subject to change depending on the community spread. Elementary students in grades PK – 6 will continue in person learning at this time."