Zionsville Community Schools Supt. Scott Robison announced the school district is considering allowing students in grades five through 12 to return to in-person classes five days a week as soon as Sept. 28, assuming current county COVID-19 data trends hold.
At the school district’s Sept. 14 school board meeting, Robison said recent COVID-19 data reported by the Boone County Health Dept. and the Indiana State Dept. of Health indicated secondary students in the school district could return to a five-day-a-week, in-person schedule, assuming current trends continue. However, the school district will be monitoring testing results from after the Labor Day weekend, up until as late as Sept. 25, before officially making the change to ensure there is no surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Boone County Health Dept. recently reported the county’s positivity rate dropped significantly after the Indiana State Dept. of Health announced an additional 15,814 statewide COVID-19 test results were added to cumulative totals from a lab that recently began sharing electronic results. As of press time, the state’s online county-level coronavirus dashboard, at coronavirus.in.gov, indicates Boone County’s positivity rate is 3.72 percent.
As of press time, Robison said there had been no instances of COVID-19 spread within any of the district’s schools, that all reported positive cases originated outside of the classroom and infected individuals were successfully quarantined before others in the schools were infected.
“We don’t have a situation in a classroom where Student 1 was COVID positive and then Student 2, sitting nearby, then became COVID positive,” Robison said. “The best example of that nonspread is at the elementary level. Not that we haven’t had positives, but our kids have been in school for five full weeks of school, and we don’t have any evidence that elementary kids are in school communicating that to other elementary kids.”
The schedule change will still allow for students and parents to select distanced learning during the pandemic if they choose. Robison said roughly 12 to 13 percent of ZCS students were enrolled in the school district’s distance-learning option at the beginning of the academic year.
With the move away from the district’s current hybrid schedule, students would no longer be sequestered into cohorts, but block scheduling would remain in place.
Robison said should a surge in cases or some other event warrant a return to a hybrid or fully distanced schedule, the school district would do so.