Gary schools change to remote learning plan amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Gary imposes mask mandate
GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- Gary school leaders are changing their reopening plans as the number of COVID-19 cases rise.

Gary Community School Corporation Emergency Manager Dr. Paige McNulty announced Wednesday that students will now start the school year with e-learning.

Each student in grades K-12 will receive a Chromebook with internet access to complete schoolwork.

The district had initially given parents a choice between e-learning and in-classroom instruction, but a survey found that more than 80% of parents preferred to keep children remote.

"The spike in coronavirus cases within our school district and across the country along with medical guidance from our local health officials caused us to re-evaluate our plan and implement e-teaching for the time being," McNulty said. "We will work with our partners and continue to assess the situation to make necessary adjustments as needed."

Students, parents and guardians will receive training to use the Chromebooks. Teachers will also be trained in the Google classroom platform, to help with online learning.

The district said it'll still provide food service.

"We are not going to leave our families hanging," McNulty said. "We will equip them with the tools they need to ensure that every child is successful."

Gary Mayor Jerome Prince also announced Wednesday residents would be required to wear face masks indoors and outdoors, when social distancing isn't possible. The mandate is effective immediately.
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