Baugo Community Schools going virtual as Covid-19 runs wild in Elkhart County
BAUGO TOWNSHIP, Ind. --- Elkhart County Covid-19 cases continue to rise at such a quick rate, local health officials have deemed the spread out of control. This is leading to many tough community decisions to be made like the one Baugo Community Schools recently made in an effort to keep students and staff safe.
In an emergency meeting Thursday, the Baugo school board decided a shift to a virtual-only instructional model as the virus has infiltrated the school district.
"Currently we have 11 positive cases on our campus, which has required contact tracing and the necessary quarantine of 350 students," said Baugo Superintendent Byron Sanders.
On Tuesday, according to the Indiana State Department of Health, Elkhart County recorded 234 new Covid-19 cases and 238 the day before. With the virus spreading like wildfire school systems like Baugo is seeing the effects, leading Superintendent Sanders to make some difficult decisions.
"We've decided that we would rather make the decision to go virtual today while our faculty is healthy, rather wait until we have a sick faculty, shift to virtual learning and not have the compacity to teach at all," said Sanders.
The shift to a virtual-only instructional model will begin Monday, November 9th, and last until the 27th. This timeline has caused some community concerns about extracurricular activities for students, specifically the football team who is preparing for a sectional championship game against the Marian Knights on Friday. Those concerns are quelled for now as Sanders explains the only change that will be made is fan attendance.
"We are not ending extracurricular activities at this time. For Baugo we are restricting spectator participation to 25% compacity of our facilities," said Sanders.
As the Covid-19 situation worsens in the county, Baugo will stay strictly virtual, with the hope they can return to in-person learning on November 30th if things improve.
"Our intention is to keep instruction moving virtually with the hope to return on November 30th in-person, and continue in-person instruction with a virtual learning option," said Sanders.
With new cases and the positivity rate around the county skyrocketing every day, it will not be long before other difficult community decisions will have to be made.