Some Carmel parents want to switch to e-learning before coronavirus hits schools

Carmel looks at options ahead of coronavirus

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Carmel parents are trying to take action before the coronavirus hits the school system.

An online petition has more than 1,000 signatures asking the school to allow students to have e-learning days if they don’t feel comfortable going to school.

Some of the signatures are from students and false accounts, but the petition still raises a concern in the community. The school district wants parents to know they’re not ignorant to the virus.

The numbers climbed as support rolled in for an online petition asking Carmel Clay Schools to have optional e-learning days, even though they have zero coronavirus cases.

The petition claims optional e-learning would help the school get ahead of the virus, but many parents told News 8 they weren’t sure what the right course of action for the school should be.

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“You know, I may sound wishy-washy, but I am not an expert,” Denise Moe said. “So I guess I do stand in the middle. I can see there’s going to be positives and negatives for either decision.”

“I say use your voice where you can,” Alexa Griffith said. “And in the end, I completely and totally trust (Superintendent) Dr. (Michael) Beresford and (Director of Student Services) Dr. (David) Woodward to use the resources that they have available from the experts that actually know about how public health needs to go.”

The school sent the following email to parents in response to the petition stating they aren’t taking action, but they’re not blind to what’s going on around them.

CCS Families,

We understand there are many questions surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact on our schools.  We want to emphasize that there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools at this time.  As you know, this is a fluid situation. Our plans are being updated on a daily, and even hourly basis. We will share new information with you as it becomes available.

Our plan is to follow national, state and local health department guidelines and recommendations. If we are directed to close one or more of our schools, our staff is prepared to use Canvas and G-Suite Tools to deliver instruction and learning experiences for our students.

In addition, we have created a new web page to answer common questions such as spring break travel, attendance, district/school events, and more…

Below are two steps you can take to prepare for virtual learning if one or more of our schools are closed.

  • If you are using a personal device at home, test for connectivity and ensure that your student can log in to their Canvas account. For frequently asked questions regarding Canvas, you can click here.
  • If you do not have access to a device (computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) for virtual learning, we will provide a device for your family. To do so you can click here to submit the “Family Mobile Device Check-Out” form.

Any school closures or other emergency information will be communicated using the district’s standard channels of communication, including phone calls, emails, text messages and the CCS website. Parents and guardians should verify that their phone numbers and email addresses are correct in PowerSchool to ensure notifications are received. For phone numbers registered within PowerSchool, CCS families can receive text alerts by texting YES to 68453 on your mobile device.

This is an unusual and challenging situation, but we are confident that together we can do whatever is needed to best serve our students. Thank you for your partnership and support.

All for now,

Dr. Michael Beresford
Carmel Clay Schools

Just like the district, parents told News 8 it can’t hurt to make a plan and be prepared.

“There is nothing wrong with preparing yourself,” Moe said. “Preparing your family, preparing your child, having child care plans in place, having a couple of boxed meals or microwave lunches in place, talking to your neighbors and maybe swapping days you’re going to miss work. Making sure your internet connection is good. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being prepared.”

Carmel Clay Schools launched a website to answer any questions on the virus and their plan.