FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Thousands of students across the city marked the first day of class, as Fort Wayne Community Schools went back to school Monday. The new school year brought excitement for students returning to in-person classes, mixed with apprehension about potential COVID-19 spread.
Fort Wayne Community School leaders decided to be the only district in Allen County to require all students and staff to wear masks, regardless of the vaccination status. According to district spokesperson Krista Stockman, masks did not pose a problem for students, but parents shared concerns.
“The issues are never really with the kids,” Stockman told WANE 15. “The kids wear the masks and they do fine. It’s just a matter of continuing to work with families. They, in some cases, have legitimate concerns, and we can work with those concerns.
Class sizes were much larger on this first day than the first day last school year, according to Stockman. Many students at the middle and high school levels stayed at home or split their time between home and the classroom.
“I think that was kind of neat,” Stockman added. “This year is really different. Kids seemed to be really happy to be back in the classroom, especially those kids who were virtual last year.”
Early in the day, a post on the Fort Wayne Community Schools Facebook page noted an issue with phones across the district. A majority of the responses to the post were questions about bus service.