SCSC releases plans for reopening schools


Seymour Community School Corp. Superintendent Brandon Harpe knows when students come back Aug. 10, it will be a start to school like no other in history.

The district released its reopening plans Friday, giving staff and families an idea of what the school year will look like. SCSC has been closed since March 23 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We believe the most effective instruction for a child happens in the classroom with our highly qualified teachers; therefore, SCSC will assume all students will be returning as normal,” Harpe said.

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Teachers’ first day back will be Aug. 6.

Harpe said he will be proposing some updates and changes to the 2020-21 school year calendar at the July 14 school board meeting. Once approved, the new calendar will be available on the corporation’s website at

Families that do not feel comfortable sending their children back to school will have the option to continue with online learning, Harpe said.

Parents or guardians must fill out and submit a formal request for online learning or contact the child’s school. A form will be made available on the SCSC website.

When in school buildings, it will be strongly recommended students and staff wear masks and maintain social distance as much as possible, including at recess, in the cafeteria and on school buses.

Individuals must provide their own masks unless unable to, at which time the schools plan to have them available.

“We advise students to use a clean/sanitized mask during each school day and keep one in their backpack,” Harpe said.

Schedules will be planned to minimize or eliminate large gatherings of students. Most field trips for the year have been canceled.

The district is encouraging parents to drop off and pick up their child if possible to limit the number of students riding buses.

Hand sanitizing stations also have been installed for students and staff to use regularly throughout the day to prevent the unknowing spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

Sneeze guards and other acrylic barriers are being used in the offices, cafeterias and other areas to increase distance between staff, students and the public. Visitors also will be limited and face restrictions.

Water fountains will be shut off, and students and staff will use personal water bottles labeled with their names that can be refilled at water bottle filling stations.

Regular school-based wellness screenings will be conducted to ensure students and staff are not exhibiting symptoms of illness, including fever and cough. Anyone showing symptoms should remain home and will not be allowed in the schools.

Protocols have been developed should a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19, including closing schools.

“We have met with the health department and local health officials and appreciate their guidance and input,” Harpe said. “One of the things I love about this community is the aspect of relationships and partnerships that we have. It is not that way in every community.”

Harpe said all plans can and likely will change and further measures will be taken if needed to maintain the health and safety of students and staff.

“We understand this plan doesn’t answer every question about re-entry; however, we hope it provides a framework necessary for families to prepare and make the best decisions,” he said.

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