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Avon students head back to the classroom

Avon students head back to the classroom

By Lindsay Doty

With their small masks and backpacks strapped on, students at Hickory Elementary headed back into the classroom Wednesday morning for the first time since the pandemic.

Students walk into Avon’s Hickory Elementary School wearing masks for the first day of the semester. Parents had to stay in the cars, but school staff helped students into the building. This comes after Teachers in Hendricks County protested starting in person classes while cases in COVID-19 are currently rising. Several teachers wanted to start the semester on time with E-learning as they believe it won’t be possible to maintain a safe social distance in the classroom. (Photo by Eric Pritchett)

The Avon Community School Corporation was the first Hendricks County public school district to close in the state after one Hickory Elementary student tested positive for COVID-19 in March and another showed symptoms.

Today, the district was one of the first in central Indiana to start back up in-person instruction classes, with the option to learn online.

Parents, students, and staff expressed mixed emotions, concerns, and excitement about returning to the school on social media.

The Avon Community School Corporation board of trustees met on Sunday and released a letter reassuring families that they believe the plans in place will create a safe environment for children and staff.

The letter states that the latest Henricks County data regarding COVID-19 shows that the number of cases has remained “consistently low (below 20 new cases per day) for the last two months.”

Hendricks County Health Officer Dr. David Stopperich, also an Avon parent, attended the meeting.

“I am excited for the start of school and truly believe my kids who attend Avon schools will be safe,” he said.

Hendricks County public schools gave families the option of starting school in-person or online. The majority chose to go back to the classroom.

Just one week before classes began, dozens of Avon teachers and some students protested outside the Hendricks County Health Department in Danville saying it was too soon to go back to the classroom with the number of COVID-19 cases.

Neighboring Brownsburg Community School Corporation starts in-person classes on Thursday.

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