Carmel parents concerned about coronavirus ask school district to allow students to learn from home


Some parents of students in Carmel Clay Schools are asking the district to allow students to learn from home before a COVID-19 diagnosis hits the community.

A petition for “Proactive E-Learning at Carmel Clay Schools” asks CCS officials to allow families who wish to keep their students home to do so without having them marked as absent. The petition collected nearly 500 signatures on its first day, March 10.

CCS parent Ally Zhang helped create the petition.

“We launched this petition today out of frustration in seeing the virus spreading rapidly both across the country and locally here in Indiana,” Zhang stated in an email. “Our neighboring counties and school districts are already impacted with kids and parents testing positive. We do not wish to be in this position because of reactive measures.”

The petitioners are asking for schools to remain open for those who wish to attend, stating that students in attendance would have more personal space and greater sanitation resources, thus decreasing the risk of infection.

“By providing E-Learning, Carmel Clay Schools will have a better chance of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus amongst the students, teachers, and staff members,” the petition states. “We implore that the district take proactive actions by not waiting until confirmed cases occur and by offering this valuable option of E-Learning.”

Indiana has six confirmed cases of COVID-19, with two in Hendricks County and one each in Adams, Boone, Marion and Noble counties. Avon Community Schools will be closed through March 20 after a student was diagnosed with COVID-19 and another student in the district exhibited symptoms.

Last week, CCS officials confirmed a Smoky Row Elementary teacher is voluntarily self-quarantining after returning from a trip to Italy, which has experienced widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in some regions.

CCS officials previously said that custodial staff at all schools are focusing extra attention on sanitizing high-traffic areas and commonly used surfaces. But for some parents, that’s not enough.

“As this virus has a long 14-day incubation period, infected individuals can appear completely healthy at first and pass it around to many people who come in contact with them,” Zhang stated. “So, basically the argument of nobody showing symptoms does not guarantee the safety of our kids.”

CCS officials did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

View the petition at


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