September 4, 2020
It has been a long summer with many ups, downs, twists, and turns, but we are finally ready to reopen our schools. This coming Tuesday, September 8th will be the first day of a school year that will be very different from any previous school year. Social distancing, face-coverings, and a variety of learning options will make the 2020-2021 school year unique, and there will undoubtedly be challenges we will all need to overcome, but trust me, we will overcome them together. Your children’s teachers, administrators, and support staff have been working so hard over the past few weeks preparing for something that has never been done before. They have done a tremendous job getting ready to provide your children with the absolute best educational experience possible, in a totally different educational environment. There will be small problems or issues to work through, but we ask only for your patience, understanding, and the trust that we have the best interests of your children at the heart of every decision, and with that, there is no challenge we cannot overcome.
We wanted to remind you of a few of the key differences this year to eliminate as much confusion and stress as possible as your family prepares to return to school. First and foremost about opening day expectations:
Traditional Model Students:
- Students PreK - Grade 5 will attend school as normal every day.
- Students Grade 6 will come to school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Wednesdays will be a remote learning day that will operate on a special synchronous schedule (see below for more details).
- Students grades 7 - 12 will attend school in-person on a rotating schedule. Some of your children have been assigned to attend school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, and virtually (synchronously, through the Google Meets feature of Google Classroom) on Thursdays and Fridays. Some of your children have been assigned to attend in-person on Thursdays and Fridays, and virtually (synchronously, through the Google Meets feature of Google Classroom) on Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesdays will be a remote learning day that will operate on a special synchronous schedule (see below for more details).
- On the days your child is scheduled to attend virtually (except Wednesdays), classes will run following the regular bell schedule and students will be expected to join the class through the teachers’ Google Classroom. Classes will proceed every day with 50% of the students attending in-person, and 50% attending virtually.
- Students receiving special education services will have the option of attending up to 5 days/week.
Synchronous Model Students:
- Grades K - 5: By now, your child’s synchronous learning teacher has reached out to you to introduce themselves and get you some materials. They will be meeting with you to orient your family to the process and will be sharing your daily schedules and expectations.
- Grades 6 - 12: Your children will attend school following the schedule established for the traditional school day through the use of the Google Meets feature of their teachers’ Google Classrooms. Certain classes will be conducted asynchronously, as determined and communicated by your child’s school.
Asynchronous Model Students
- Students grades K - 5 who have selected the IDEAL (asynchronous) program will have been contacted by their teachers already to introduce themselves. These teachers will be setting up your child’s learning program and will reach out to discuss how they will provide support.
- Ideal classes may not begin on September 8. Your teachers will notify you as to the exact launch date for your classes (sometime next week).
- Attendance in the IDEAL program is based on students’ progress in each individual subject. Students are expected to maintain Consistent progress throughout the school year.
- All students in the IDEAL program will have the opportunity to arrange meetings with their teacher, or to take advantage of the services available at the high school IDEAL lab, if and when they need assistance.
- Wednesdays will be a remote learning day for all students grades 6 - 12 (Unless otherwise arranged for individual students)
- Learning will take place synchronously on these days, however, an alternative schedule will be followed. The schedules will include shortened class periods to compensate for the increased workload placed on our teachers.
- Click here for the Junior High Wednesday schedule for students.
- Please note that due to a few scheduling conflicts, some classes may not meet on Wednesdays.
- Click here for the Senior High Wednesday schedule for students.
- Student attendance In the Google Classrooms at the assigned times on Wednesdays (as well as all assigned virtual days) is expected. Please follow the normal procedures for reporting the student off ill as established by the student handbook if they are unable to attend.
Please note that this school year’s distance learning options, whether it is part of the traditional, synchronous, or asynchronous, are quite different than those we offered at the end of last year. This year, we are required to operate under the same regulations that typically govern schools. These rules were suspended during the shutdown last Spring. This means that daily student attendance is required, grades will be earned, and standardized tests will be administered. School will be as “back to normal” as possible.
The District will be able to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students enrolled at Indiana Area School District, through December 31, 2020. This means that regardless of your students free/reduced or paid status, or the method of education in which your child is enrolled, they will be eligible for a free breakfast and lunch. Students who are learning remotely, or not scheduled to attend in-person on certain days, will have the option to pick up meals every Wednesday at the Senior High School for those days that they are not scheduled to be in the schools. Parents can reserve meals, by visiting the District's website and filling out the survey on the foodservice page. Please note that this includes the basic daily offerings. Ala cart items, including snacks, extra entrees, or drinks will not be free. Students will need to have money in their accounts to purchase these items.
Should your child at any time experience technical difficulties with their Chromebook, internet service, or accessing the materials, please visit the services tab on our website, and navigate to the Technical Services option. There you will find a link to report technical difficulties which will alert our IT department to reach out and help your family solve the problem.
As always, if you or your child have questions, concerns, or need assistance of any kind, we encourage you to contact the school principal.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy start to the school year,
Michael Vuckovich, Superintendent
Robert Heinrich, Director of Education