SCSC distributing Chromebooks and meals to students beginning Monday


Seymour Community School Corp. is making plans to educate and feed all students over the next six weeks as the community grapples with how to respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

On Thursday, Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered all public and private schools in Indiana to remain closed through at least May 1. All state standardized testing this spring including ILEARN and IREAD have been canceled.

Seymour High School’s annual prom, which was scheduled for May 1, has been rescheduled to May 15, according to school officials. Should schools be required to close further, prom will be canceled, said Principal Greg Prange.

Chromebooks for eLearning

SCSC will distribute Chromebooks beginning Monday to students in kindergarten through fourth grade who do not have a device at home to use.

Parents or guardians will be able to pickup a Chromebook via curbside at their child’s school between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday or Tuesday, said Diane Altemeyer, director of federal programs for the corporation.

After Tuesday, families will need to call their child’s school and schedule a time for curbside pickup.

All other students in fifth through 12th grades should have brought their devices home with them before spring break, Altemeyer said.

Teachers will be posting information on how to access eLearning information and materials on their school webpage and/or Google Classroom sites. Students are expected to work on and complete assignments daily. Should they need help or have questions, teachers and instructional staff will be available virtually from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each weekday.

Each school building also will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to answer general eLearning questions by phone or email. Questions related to specific activities should be directed to the child’s teacher, Altemeyer said.

Families who do not have internet access at home can use the parking lot of any school building or the parking lot at the Seymour library.

There are also options for discounted or free internet service through local internet providers

“If you are in need of internet access, please reach out to local companies to see what free or low cost plans they have that are right for your family,” Altemeyer said.

Meals for students

Besides Chromebooks, SCSC also will have meals available to students at no cost beginning Monday. Curbside pickup will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the bus lobby entrance at Seymour High School, Door 1 at Seymour Middle School, the cafeteria entrance at the Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center, Door 3 at Margaret R. Brown Elementary School, Door 1 at Seymour-Redding Elementary School and Door 1 at Cortland Elementary School.

There is no food service at Seymour-Jackson Elementary or Emerson Elementary, but families can pick up meals at any of the other buildings, regardless of where a child attends school.

Families may take home up to three breakfast and three lunch meals per child if they wish, so they don’t have to come back up every day, said Stacey Townsend, director of food services.

Any child needing to retrieve medications or other necessary items from their child’s school may call the school office and arrange for curbside pickup between the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday or Tuesday. After Tuesday, access to school buildings will be by appointment only, if deemed necessary.

Waiting for answers

Superintendent Brandon Harpe said there are many questions people have and schools continue to wait on state and federal guidance.

“We ask for your help in allowing us time to prepare the information we receive,” he said. “We promise to keep you informed as we receive the guidance and implement plans to support our students.

No students will be penalized due to absences, he added.

“We are not in this alone. All schools across the country are having the same conversations and we will get through this with positive outcomes for our students,” he said.

Information regarding the schools should be obtained through the school corporation’s website, local media including The Tribune, radio stations and television news, the school system’s social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the school’s direct messenger system.

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