1/4 of FWCS students pick remote learning option

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — About a quarter of Fort Wayne Community Schools students will learn from home this school year, according to statistics provided by the district.

This month, Fort Wayne Community Schools families were asked to decide how students will return to school this year – be it in-person, blended or remote learning. Parents had until midnight Wednesday to decide.

On Thursday, the district said more than 19,000 students made selections – about 2/3 of its students.

Of those that made a selection, about 40 percent chose remote learning. About 50 percent of elementary students chose remote learning, and a little more than a third of middle and high school students chose remote learning. 

Brian Doust, a parent of a first grader, is part of the 40 percent that chose the remote learning option.

“There’s so much uncertainty going on right now. We figured it would be better to be safe than sorry.” Doust said. “The biggest concern was just the cleanliness of the school. Obviously him being in first grade, all of the little kids spread germs like wildfire.”

While he feels its the safest option for his son, he does have some concerns.

“There’s going to be faults in it I’m sure. There’s going to be some quirks we have to get used to,” said Doust. “He’s going to miss out on all of those social interactions with his own peers so that’ll be tough.”

In-person learning will be the default for families who did not make a decision.

“These numbers will definitely help in social distancing, particularly at the elementary level where students are attending in-person every day,” said district spokeswoman Krista Stockman. “At middle and high school, we were already able to reduce class sizes by having a blended learning model with students in-person only 2-3 days/week. This also helps with transportation, as there will be fewer students riding buses.”

The district said the numbers are not final because officials are still processing paper forms, but the percents have stayed “pretty consistent.”

The district announced its Return to Learn plan two weeks ago. The plan calls for in-school learning five days a week for elementary students, and a blended model for middle and high school students. Students at all grade levels could also choose a fully remote learning model.

Parents were asked to make their decisions by Wednesday. The district said it was “critical” that parents make their selection for the type of learning environment they want for their children so the district could make staffing determinations and to set student schedules.

The school year begins Aug. 13.

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