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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick announced Thursday afternoon that all K-12 schools will deliver remote instruction for the remainder of the school year.

HCCSC closed its buildings on March 16 due to the COVID-19 virus under the advisement of the Huntington County Health Department. An order from Gov. Holcomb on March 19 ordered all schools in the state to close their doors until May 1. Today’s announcement declares classes will not resume in person and remote instruction will be utilized for the remainder of the semester for all schools across the state.

HCCSC will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year through May 28, 2020 due to the COVID-19 virus and the executive order by Governor Eric Holcomb. The Indiana State Department of Health will continue to monitor the situation and work in connection with the Indiana Department of Education.

Waiver days will be utilized by the school district for the week of April 13 through 17, May 4 through May 8, and May 25 through 28. The other weeks which begin April 20, April 27, May 11 and May 18 will utilize remote learning, according to HCCSC.

HCCSC will continue to observe the cancellation of all extra-curricular, co-curricular, field trips, competitions, and other events until further notice.

Grab & Go meals will also be available on April 23 at participating sites, subject to access and availability of food.

HCCSC is in the process of preparing information regarding end of the school year items such as final exams, locker clean out, collection of devices, graduation, Summer School, Migrant Summer School, Kinder Kamp, etc. They encourage students and parents to watch for more information to arrive on these items in their FAQ.

“We continue to take these measures in an abundance of caution to reduce or limit exposure to the virus in our community,” a release from HCCSC stated. “We encourage students to stay home during this time and continue to follow the healthy hygiene practices that have been laid out to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

A Frequently Asked Question document can be found on HCCSC’s website. Additional information and updates will be communicated on the website (www.hccsc.k12.in.us), through SchoolMessenger, and on social media platforms.

“We continue to monitor announcements from agencies to keep our students, staff and families safe,” HCCSC said in a statement Thursday evening.

The decision for all K-12 schools in the state to continue remote learning through the end of the year was announced during a live broadcast from Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s office.

Schools must complete 160 total instruction days or at least 20 more days of remote learning from April 2 until the end of the year, according to the state order.

Schools will be required to submit a continuous learning plan by April 17.

“Let’s face it, some of our classrooms can be like Petri dishes,” said Gov. Holcomb. “We can’t return, we can’t deny the facts of the world we live in today, right now. The last thing that we want to do is kid ourselves about our kids’ health and safety.”

All high school seniors who were on track to graduate before school buildings were closed on March 19 will be provided with the flexibility they need to earn an Indiana diploma, according to the McCormick.

“Graduates, our goal is to get you across that stage,” said McCormick. “We know this isn’t easy, you are sacrificing a lot of things that you were looking forward for your senior year...”

HCCSC Superintendent Chad Daugherty stated the school corporation’s intent to host prom and graduation events if possible during a school board meeting on March 23.

“If we can do it, we want to do it because it’s a once in a lifetime experience for those young people, and those parents deserve to see that too,” said Daugherty. “They’ve worked really hard for that.”

Expiring teacher licenses will be extended through Sept. 1, 2020. Some emergency teaching permit requirements will be waived along with rules for school bus passenger evacuation drills.