Earlier this week, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine held a news conference to share local updates concerning the pandemic and introduced a new color-coded risk calculation tool for schools. This tool is intended to help schools determine when to close due to rising rates of infection.
Worth noting, Mayor Hogsett began the news conference saying that the Covid-19 positivity rate in Marion County was 15.9 percent at the end of December. He added, "December has been our toughest month yet, and we are going to see a tough January." We concur with Mayor Hogsett's assessment, and have been anticipating -- and are now seeing -- a spike in Covid-19 spread as a result of the winter holiday season. Because of Irvington Community Schools’ careful approach to planning in the midst of the pandemic, we have avoided the disruption of school closures, enabling a more consistent delivery of academic services to our students under exceptionally challenging circumstances.
Therefore, with the safety of our students and staff being our highest priority, ICS will move forward with the following:
Jan. 11 - 15, 2021 | ICS will stay in an all-virtual mode, K-12, per our previous communication.
Jan. 19 - 29, 2021 | ICS will stay in an all-virtual mode, K-12, with the intended plan to go hybrid, K-12, with a target date of Monday, Feb. 1. Please note that Monday, Jan. 18 is observed by ICS as a holiday and school is not in session.
Feb. 1 - March 26, 2021 | ICS intends to move forward with plans to go hybrid, K-12, as outlined in our December communications. *Students whose parents opted for the all-virtual instruction model, per our December sign-up, will continue in that learning mode. No action is needed from parents at this time. Please note that Monday, Feb. 15 is observed by ICS as a holiday and school is not in session.
This additional two-week cushion in January allows ICS to monitor the positivity rates in Marion County and the anticipated impact of the New Year’s holiday. We remain optimistic that the positivity rate will peak in mid-January and begin a steady decline to allow us to get kids safely back in school. Of course, and as ever during this most unusual school year, this is contingent upon pandemic spread conditions. Further, as a reminder:
April 5 - June 10, 2021 | The ICS Leadership team will continue to assess the pandemic’s progression throughout the third quarter to determine any adjustments in the hybrid learning model for the fourth quarter. Again, any type of adjustment is dependent on professional medical advice from local health officials, as well as consideration for the safety of our students and staff. Information regarding the fourth quarter will be communicated in mid-March. Please note that ICS is on Spring Break Monday, March 29 - Friday, April 2, 2021, and school is not in session.
The spirit of our school community in supporting one another and persevering in such a challenging time has been truly remarkable and makes us all Raven proud. We are very much looking forward to Feb. 1, and to being reunited in person with our hybrid model students. Meanwhile, please continue to stay safe.