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Plymouth, Glenn, LaVille move cautiously forward hoping for fall activities

YouthFootballPLYMOUTH – As the numbers continue to look grim in the fight against COVID-19 local school administrators are struggling with decisions that could literally affect life and death in their community.

“You are used to making decisions to insure the safety of your students and staff,” said John Glenn Superintendant Christopher Winchell. “With this, you have to expand that and think of the safety of ism, their grandparents, and the whole community that are equally as important.”
While Plymouth, Glenn, LaVille, and Bremen schools announcing one type of delay or another to actual on-campus classes for the fall and the Argos School Board in emergency session at press time, it appears most schools in Marshall County will pause coming back to campus.
“It’s really a matter of no right answer right now,”┬ásaid Plymouth Superintendant Andy Hartley. “We have to determine if we wait to decide (on e-learning) in hopes we can be back in the classroom and if numbers don’t change start e-learning late when we could have started on time? We feel we’ve been doing virtual learning for quite a while now so why not start that way and return as quickly as we can.”
The back to class debate includes another component that schools will have to struggle with – the back to the field debate.
Fall activities – football, tennis, cross country, soccer, marching band – all hang in the balance as the pandemic continues.
So far it is good news for those involved with extracurriculars.
“It’s our desire to keep activities going,” said Winchell. “Even though the ISSMAA has canceled their (marching band) competition season we want our kids to have marching band. We want them to have band camp. We have actually started making plans for how we could have a fall play in a safe manner.”
“We had an incident in football and we took action to make sure that everybody was safe,” said Winchell. “We had a scare in volleyball but luckily that was just a normal fever,” said Winchell. “Our sports teams are following our protocols as best they can.”
“Athletics has been under some pretty tight protocols regarding their return to activity,” said Hartley. “Masking, distancing, they are in an outdoor space which makes that easier. If they can maintain that type of approach we want them to continue.”
“We are going to keep doing what we are doing,” concurred Winchell. “At this time, in light of the situation, we wanted to continue with practices in hopes that we will be back on campus.”
The bottom line for both Superintendents is okay from the health department.
“Health officials have told us to maintain what we are doing right now,” said Hartley. “I’m not saying it won’t change but the experts have encouraged us to continue.”
“The health departments are supportive of that with the protocols we have in place for our activities,” said Winchell. “Having 11 volleyball girls outside conditioning and putting 25 elementary students in a classroom are two completely different things.”
“Clearly the situation changes almost every hour but right now we are comfortable moving ahead with the protocols we have in place.”

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