SGCS returns to in-person, Carroll likely to continue

Students wait for class to begin during passing period.

Brewer, Stella

Students wait for class to begin during passing period.

Smith Green Community Schools returns to school today after having been closed due to COVID-19.

During the shutdown, students went into virtual learning to substitute for in person learning.

The shutdown was prompted by 30% of elementary students and 20% of junior-senior students being quarantined, according to SGCS superintendent Dr. Daniel Hile.

In a YouTube video posted on the 23rd, Hile said, “We are seeing a very large percentage of our student body in both buildings who are quarantined due to positive cases and close contacts.”

Churubusco High School reported less than 5 new positive cases and the elementary school reported 9 new positive cases.

Students of SGCS logged into Canvas daily for attendance purposes and completed their given work online rather than log into a Google Meet for a remote class. Extracurricular activities “continue[d] when possible,” according to Hile.

Hile stated that the shutdown was meant to be temporary and that students planned to return to in-person instruction on Tuesday, September 7.

The possibility of a shutdown at Carroll seems to be unlikely, as NACS officials are currently optimistic with the conditions currently.

In an interview, Dr. Chris Himsel, the superintendent of NACS, said, “I’m very hopeful that we’ll avoid another shutdown. Everything we’ve been doing is to keep kids in school and that’s what we’ve been doing for two years.”

COVID-19 cases have been on the decline since the implementation of the mask mandate on August 31 at a school board meeting at Carroll High School. NACS administrators voted to reinstate the temporary mask mandate after 12% of the student population was out of school with 105 students infected with COVID-19 and 996 students quarantined.

The mask mandate began on September 1 and it will lift on October 15. The mandate was proposed by Liz Hathaway and it passed 3:2. 

Anyone on NACS property or at NACS activities is required to wear masks unless they are six feet apart from all persons, outside, engaging in high exertion activities such as physical education, eating or drinking, and/or are “covered by all other exceptions required by federal or state law.”

As of August 31, Fort Wayne Community Schools is the only other district in Allen County to have a mask mandate. 

The mask mandate seems to be working, however, as cases and quarantines have been decreasing.

“We went from having about 12% of the student body affected with the Covid illness or quarantines, down to this past week where it was less than 1 percent,” Dr. Himsel said.

Whether or not cases rise, NACS officials are dedicated to serving out their educational goals.

“I think that what we want to keep focused on is that we’ve not changed our mission. We’re gonna continue to develop the talent and nurture the creativity of kids,” said Himsel.