FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — When fifth year superintendent Marilyn Hissong was asked what the public could provide to East Allen County Schools as the school year begins, she paused a moment.
“To be completely honest: support,” she told WANE 15’s DIrk Rowley. “We just need people to support that we’re in this with them. I keep saying to our families ‘give us grace.'”
Hissong, like most school leaders, is caught up in the national debate on Covid-19 protocols. “It’s impossible to say that we all have the answers right now because we don’t. We’re looking at our medical professionals to help guide us through this process, but I will tell you, we need to know that there’s support out there from our families to know that we’re going to do our very best to navigate this.”
EACS is one of the 20 largest districts in the state, with schools spanning urban, suburban and rural settings. Hissong says the diversity is something that stands out in her 29 years of work with the school system. “I just love being able to go all the way throughout this district and see different students, different communities, but they’re all very supportive of their home schools. That’s why we have five high schools.”
East Allen students return to class Wednesday, August 11.
In the event of bad weather, Hissong says teachers will have more options this year on e-learning days. The district kept Zoom licenses so remote instruction could be used instead of simple homework assignments. “They (teachers) could say ‘hey I need all of you to be on Zoom at 9am. We’re going to do a reading lesson for the day’ and they could they could use it that way. We want to make sure we’re giving our teachers all the tools so that students have the opportunity to fully engage with the curriculum, “