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Gary Public Schools postpones January 19th re-entry to the classroom

Contributed By:The 411 News

Follows decision made by Hammond to delay re-entry because of COVID-19 community spread

The Gary school district has cancelled January 19th as its planned return for in-person learning, announced Dr. Paige McNulty, Manager, Gary Community School Corp.

“For families who selected a return to in-person instruction, I’m writing to share that our return date is being postponed due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19,” Dr. McNulty wrote in a statement.

Gary’s school district had planned to reopen following the winter holiday break with a choice for families to choose in-person or continue with eLearning. Students in Gary have been on remote learning since the pandemic first closed schools in March 2020 and then the mid-summer surge of the virus cancelled the reopening of schools in the Fall.

Dr. McNulty’s decision follows a similar decision last week in Hammond. At its January 5th school board meeting, Hammond's school board voted to delay the return of students to in-person learning for another month.

Citing a surge in coronavirus infections, Supt. Scott Miller asked the school board to delay re-opening schools to in-person learning until February 16. Hammond schools have also been on remote learning since the Fall.

Supt. Miller said then, “The current COVID-19 positivity rate is higher than Lake County's Board of Health recommendation for operating schools. The threshold is 13%; the positivity rate for Lake County was then at 15.8%.”

Today, Lake County’s positivity rate is 16.5%.

“Please know that this was a difficult decision to make. I truly believe that our children’s academic, social, and emotional needs are best met by attending school in person. However, I’ve always been clear that health and safety are my number one priorities, and even with the many steps we have taken, COVID-19 is still spreading at a rate that makes it unwise to return to in-person learning at this time,” Dr. McNulty said.

Story Posted:01/11/2021

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