FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One of Indiana’s largest school districts returned to the classroom Thursday with guidelines and protocols.
As this is the first day for some students, it’s also the first day for new superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel.
“Whatever the perception is out there, I’m just really proud to be part of Fort Wayne Community Schools and see what we’re doing on a daily basis. It is phenomenal,” said Dr. Daniel.
Dr. Daniel stopped by the classes at Northcrest Elementary and other FWCS buildings to see students on their first day.
Masks are to be worn by students and staff when inside a building and social distancing isn’t possible. Students are also spaced out within classrooms. Teachers are using techniques to keep them distanced in the hallway.
We’re up to about 37% total remote students. So, it’s definitely provided the safety factor that we’re hoping for and seeking. So, very pleased with that. And then also the distribution of all the computers and the hot spots for our students and our families, that seems to have worked very well,” said Dr. Daniel.
Of the students attending in-person, a unique schedule is in place. Preschool through 5th grade will be in-class 5 days a week. Middle school and high school students will be on alternating schedules.
The first day did have usual “first day problems,” but also technology issues.
“The kinds of things you might expect when you launch 29,000 computers on the same day. So, we’re working through those things. We know it’s hard for parents and students to be patient, but, with every problem that we solve for someone, we hope that doesn’t recur the next day,” said Krista Stockman, public information officer for FWCS.
As for any other issues that may arise, Dr. Daniel is leaning on teachers.
“I expect our teachers to provide their expertise and recommendations to our building level administrators. And if at all possible, if those are workable solutions to enhance the system, improve the system, go for it,” said Dr. Daniel.
Cleaning will increase on both the buses and in the buildings this year. Specifically on high touch areas. Officials are pleading with parents to keep kids home if experiencing symptoms.