MARSHALL COUNTY — Union-North United School Corporation Superintendent Mitch Mawhorter sent out a letter on Tuesday to parents that reads as follows:

“Dear Parents,

On Monday evening, the Board of Trustees adopted the LaVille Re-entry plan, which includes three stages of learning. Stage one will happen during low or no spread of the virus and allows everyone to come back to school, with precautions. During stage two, with moderate spread, a hybrid model approach for students will take place for re-entry. Finally, stage three, during substantial spread, will lead to a virtual version of learning. LaVille will start this school year at stage three.

According to the St. Joseph and Marshall County Health Departments, COVID cases in both counties are still high. Dr. Mark Fox and Dr. Byron Holm, St. Joseph County and Marshall County Health Officers, both expressed great concern about bringing staff and students back in person for our start date on Aug. 12. The counties have had a surge since the beginning of July, making our area one of Indiana’s hotter spots.

This is not a decision we have made lightly nor is it news we wanted to spring on you at the eleventh hour. I realize it will take planning on your part. My hope is to have a short period of virtual and move onto a hybrid model, but I cannot promise this due to the uncertainty of this virus. While we are in stage 3, our staff will be working to make the virtual classroom mirror the regular classroom as much as possible. Staff will be teaching from their classrooms on their regular schedules. Students will be expected to engage and complete assignments as they would in person.

In order to make virtual classrooms a possibility, each building principal will be sending information about computer pickup times. The principals will also help to answer questions you might have when doing the virtual classroom. We will all continue to plan for your student’s safe return as we look forward to stage two and/or stage one.”

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