Northwest Allen County Schools could be back to offering some of its regular summer programming as early as next week. Pending approval from state and local government officials, the Carroll High School athletic program plans to open the school grounds for summer youth camps, as well as strength and conditioning, beginning July 6.
The NACS Board of School Trustees approved a referendum June 22 giving the school corporation permission to begin the process of reopening for summer activities. It does not, however, pertain to the reopening of school buildings in the fall.
NACS Superintendent Chris Himsel said the district will still have to follow guidance from the Indiana Department of Education, and submit the reopening plan to the Allen County Department of Health for review. Himsel noted that when activities begin, the district will implement COVID-19 safety measures, including frequent cleaning of commonly touched objects and surfaces, social distancing, and an adherence to practical guidelines on facial coverings and masks.
Activities have not returned yet this summer due to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s order that schools remain closed through the remainder of the academic year, which doesn’t end until June 30.
“That’s the reason why we still have closed signs in different areas throughout our facilities,” Himsel said. “Those will start being removed after July 1 as things will start to look a lot more normal out here …”
NACS is currently being advised by a group of local doctors who will help paint the picture of what a return to school in the fall will look like.
“The things that we’re going to do in July is to try to put us in a position where we can find out what’s working and what’s not working, and we can continue to work with our local doctors and Allen County Department of Health so we can put our best foot forward and keep kids and staff as safe as possible when we do reopen in August,” Himsel said.
The school board is expected to consider a resolution to begin the fall reopening process at its July 27 regularly scheduled meeting or as late as Aug. 10. Himsel said doctors have indicated they will have a better idea of the community’s status as it relates to COVID-19 a few weeks after Fourth of July. Waiting that long to make a decision on reopening will also allow the district to adapt to changing guidelines, he added.
“We want to make sure that any of our plans are the most up to date as possible, so the longer we can wait to finalize them, the better off we’ll be.”
Carroll will offer summer youth camps for baseball, boys and girls basketball, co-ed soccer, football, tennis and volleyball. More information on those camps can be found at ch.nacs.k12.in.us/athletics/athletics_home. Physicals are required for strength and conditioning beginning July 6. Physical forms can be found at the above website.