Marion County parents share concerns about returning to virtual learning

Coronavirus
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INDIANAPOLIS — Many parents of Marion County students were not surprised when health officials announced all K-12 schools must return to virtual learning by the end of the month. The Marion County Public Health Department expressed concerns about an increase in the positivity rate among all grade levels.

Starting Monday November 23, MSD of Lawrence Township Township will be shifting to K-12 virtual instruction. School buildings and the Welcome Center will remain open.

“I was disappointed but not surprised, honestly,” said Brandace Schubert, mother of two Lawrence Township students. “With the numbers going up, I assumed things would start to shut down again.”

Parents like Schubert are preparing to welcome their kids back home for school until at least January. That is how long the new health order will stay in effect.

“Disappointed because I just, not only from hearing the feedback from my children but also seeing the reflection in some of their grades,” she said.

On the same day as MSD of Lawrence Township, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) will return to 100% remote learning for all grades too.

“Last week there was a COVID case in my son’s classroom, and we went through the whole testing scare,” said Erin Macey, an IPS parent.

This past week, Macey was able to get paid leave as her son quarantined all because of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

“My husband and I both have full time jobs, and when you suddenly have kids at home and they need help with e-learning, it is a lot. It is a lot to expect of working families,” she said.

In March, President Donald Trump signed into law the FFCRA, which creates two new emergency paid leave requirements in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The law entitles certain employees of covered employers to take up to two weeks of paid sick leave if the employee is unable to work for specific qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. These qualifying reasons are:

“(1) Being subject to a Federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; (2) being advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns; (3) experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; (4) caring for another individual who is either subject to a Federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns; (5) caring for the employee’s son or daughter whose school, place of care, or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons; and (6) experiencing any other substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).”

FFCRA permits certain employees of covered employers to take up to 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave — 10 of which are paid — if the employee is unable to work due to a need to care for his or her son or daughter whose school, place of care, or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons.

These paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements will expire on December 31, 2020.

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