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IPS returns to all virtual learning weeks after welcoming students back into classroom

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – All students at Indianapolis Public Schools return to virtual learning Monday after local health officials ordered all schools in Marion County to close.

The decision comes at a time when Indianapolis is seeing a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. 

While students have been back in the classroom between five and seven weeks depending on the grade, some families say just because they’ve been virtual before doesn’t make the move easier. 

In a video posted on the IPS web site, superintendent Aleesia Johnson noted that transitions can cause anxiety. 

That’s a sentiment in which IPS mom Jenny Bostrom finds agreement. 

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Bostrom doesn’t understand why bars and restaurants are allowed to stay open while her two kids stay home. 

“I saw a difference in my kids, I really did. Learning and engaging, they don’t do well on the screen all day,” said Bostrom, whose children attend the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School.

Bostrom adds she doesn’t want their progress to slow down and believes going virtual should be a school-by-school decision and not one made by Mayor Hogsett and Dr. Virginia Caine countywide.

“Look at the evidence, look at the data and see where COVID-19  is spreading and close those places first. Like close the bars, close sporting events and say to our community, ‘we prioritize education,’” said Bostrom. 

It’s a sentiment IPS mom Sarah Amidon shares. 

Amidon says she understands the need to flatten the curve, but says she isn’t convinced closing schools is the best way. 

“There was a week they closed for a week because they had a few cases. They closed for a week, deep cleaned and then brought all the students back,” said Amidon. 

Amidon adds that while her child does well at home and doesn’t mind being on a screen, she questions if closing schools is the best decision for everyone. 

“I understand both sides and why people could be upset, kids didn’t ask for this and teachers certainly didn’t either, but do I think closing all schools makes sense? I’m just glad I don’t have to make that decision,” Amidon adds. 

IPS will remain virtual through Jan 18. During that time, athletics at IPS will continue and IPS will also have meal pick up twice each week at 25 school parking lots.

While Amidon and Bostrom prepare to once again be working moms and teachers, they worry about others. 

“I worry about families who don’t have the support and ability that my family does. I think we just need to get through the holidays,” said Amidon. 

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