ZIONSVILLE — Tuesday marked the first day of in-person learning for many students in Zionsville Community Schools. But, eighth-graders at Zionsville Middle School won't return until next week since they may have been exposed to COVID-19 before the year started.
The district made the decision working with its COVID-19 task force.
School leaders in Zionsville created their COVID-19 task force back in March. It's a team of school and community leaders that meet regularly to find the best way to keep kids safe.
The start of this school year has been unlike any other and school leaders are working to open schools in a slow and careful way.
"They had a very extensive back to school protocol they are social distancing and wearing masks and teachers are keeping them in one classroom," Rachel Campbell, a Zionsville parent, said.
Some Zionsville parents said they also take comfort knowing the district has a specific COVID-19 task force helping to guide the process.
The task force consists of eight district employees who work in central operations, eight principals in the district and community volunteers including doctors, an immunologist, and epidemiologist.
"Professionals who I have determined to be sufficiently objective who are external experts in their field and don't have kids in our district such that they are worried about childcare or what decision I may make," Dr. Scott Robison, superintendent of Zionsville schools, said. "These are scientists who can be objective about things and that's the way I wanted to run it."
Robison said they all helped make the decision with the health department on how to handle the possible eighth-grade case.
"We don't want a child to think that they have caused things for their team or for eighth-graders," Robison said. "I mean no one child caused anything to happen. This is a global pandemic and we should handle it as positively and as discreetly as we can."
Parents said they trust the decisions being made.
"Yeah, I think they are doing their best with the information they have," Campbell said. "They have extensive plans, lots of brains were definitely put together to come up with some good plans."