PORTAGE — Students in Portage Township Schools will learn from home for at least the first quarter of the new school year due to continuing public health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter sent to parents Monday, Superintendent Amanda Alaniz said the Portage Township School Board of Trustees has endorsed her plan for some 7,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade to participate in virtual learning to begin the 2020-21 school year.
"As we continue to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in our county, state and nation, we cannot ignore the risks associated with opening our school doors too soon," Alaniz said.
"We must protect our most vulnerable by prioritizing the health and safety of all."
Alaniz said more information will be coming soon for students, families and staff about the district's virtual learning plans and its strategy to ensure every student and family can participate.
"We will communicate these details with everyone as soon as they are available," she said. "Thank you for your understanding as we put the health and safety of our students, families, staff and Portage Township community first."
Portage Township is believed to be the first Northwest Indiana school district to rule out in-person classes to start the new school year.
Every other district, so far, is planning to reopen its buildings with extensive COVID-19 protections and procedures in place to protect students and educators from the virus.