Hamilton Southeastern Schools update reopening plan

CIF COM Bourff headshot

Hamilton Southeastern Schools Supt. Allen Bourff presented an updated reopening plan to the HSE Schools Board of Trustees during its Aug. 12 meeting.

The update changed the reopening plan from a four-phase plan to a three-phase plan.

HSE Schools is in Phase I, which is 100 percent virtual. After Labor Day, the district will transition to Phase II.

Phase II will be a 50-50 schedule with two groups of students. One group will attend school in-person three days a week, and the second group will attend school in-person two days a week. Non-in-person days will be virtual. Every other week, the groups will switch schedules. Phase II differs from the original reopening plan in that it doesn’t allow a full day for cleaning.

“Last (plan), we had two days of instruction for one group and two for another and one day every week for deep cleaning with all students virtual,” Bourff said. “We are trying to capitalize on the days we have where students can be with their teachers. The facilities department assured us they don’t need an entire day to clean.”

During Phase II, access to events and athletic competitions will be restricted to immediate family members.

Phase III will consist of all students attending school in-person. Operational metrics will decide when the district will advance to the next phase. A two-week notice will be given.

“A reopening plan is going to have to be fluid,” Bourff said. “There are too many moving parts for it to be static and constant the whole time.”
HSE Schools initially released its reopening plan July 10, but it changed after a July 15 tabletop meeting with City of Fishers officials.
“In that tabletop, we were presented some scenarios by the city to respond to. One of the issues we had to deal with was what happens when a student presents positive, what happens when a teacher presents positive, what happens when a number of teachers are looking for a leave of absence?” Bourff said. “At that point, we also went into that knowing that our teachers, 75 percent of them, felt they had issues with the (reopening) plan that needed to be further discussed. We realized at the end of that session that the positivity rate had gone up, and our plans to go back face-to-face were premature. We weren’t ready for that. For that reason, we began to organize ourselves around idea of virtual instruction.”

To view the full plan, visit hseschools.org.


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