Rice building

ELKHART — Elkhart High School will operate on a virtual schedule, beginning Nov. 30, for the remainder of this semester and the first two weeks of the second semester, the district announced Friday.

According to the latest figures listed on Elkhart Community Schools COVID dashboard, the district has 79 confirmed student and staff COVID cases at the high school’s east campus and 44 at its west campus.

Students will return to the hybrid plan on Jan. 19 following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

“The plan to return two weeks into January for the high school students will allow for an incubation period after the holiday break to allow any COVID cases from that time to run their course,” said Elkhart Community Schools Superintendent Steve Thalheimer.

While virtual, high school students will need to log in during their class times on days when they have had in-person instruction. Elementary and middle school students will continue on the hybrid plan and the district will shift administrative and support personnel to the buildings to keep them in session, Thalheimer said.

The instruction leadership team will meet with principals weekly to assess the continued hybrid model. If any elementary or middle school experiences severe staff shortages, Thalheimer said that building may move to a short-term closure.

“It is important for the community to mask up, stay physically distant and wash their hands in order for us to keep younger students in school and return high school students to in-person instruction,” Thalheimer said.

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