FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Southwest Allen County Schools announced in a letter to parents Tuesday that it has decided to continue with virtual learning for secondary students until Jan. 5 due to an inadequate number of in-person teachers available.
“We knew the 2020-2021 school year would be unique and challenging. Our Return to School Plan was developed to keep staff and students safe and your child’s health is our primary concern when we make these decisions, yet there are many factors we must consider. The reality is we need teachers to teach, and the numbers of isolations and quarantines, combined with the lack of substitutes available, continue to impede our ability to staff classrooms,” the school district said.
All SACS elementary schools will remain open with no proposed changes for K-5 students or special needs students at this time, the letter said.
SACS said that since the school year began, out of over 1000 employees, more than 400 staff have been impacted by COVID-19, and only 47 have tested positive. The majority of the cases of adults unable to work have been due to quarantine and childcare issues.
In the 2019-2020 school year, SACS said it had a list of between 150-200 active substitute teachers available to assist the district at various grade levels. As of Tuesday, the district says they only have 51 available.
“It is our hope the community spread decreases over the next few weeks to the point we have fewer staff in quarantine or ill. As soon as we can cover the number of teachers out of the classroom, we will bring the secondary students back to the buildings,” the letter said.
SACS said that families with secondary students will receive further information from their student’s school. Extra-curricular and co-curricular activities will continue as scheduled.