in-person learning

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana lawmakers will address concerns from school leaders about a possible loss of funding because of the high number of children forced to quarantine so far this school year.

Elizabeth Gabriel/WFYI

Thousands of Indiana students have been sent home to quarantine, often for a week or more, during the past month as a precaution in the ongoing pandemic. It's a response that is again raising concern over student learning outside the classroom. And school districts worry if students are in remote learning for too long, they could lose state funding.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

Students learning primarily in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic last school year benefitted from face-to-face instruction, according to a new analysis of state data shared with the Indiana State Board of Education Wednesday.


Some parents of online learners still have lingering concerns about sending their children back to school – specifically for in-person standardized tests – but the state says most students have already taken their federally required assessments, and there aren't consequences if they don't.

Captured via Facebook Live

Last week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer encouraged high schools to shift to remote learning for two weeks in an effort to slow the state’s surge in COVID-19 cases. However, students in Berrien County will continue to learn in-person.

Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said she and other health officials believe the benefits of in-person learning outweigh the current risks.


“We really are not seeing school settings as being the driver of transmission amongst our youth,” Britten said.


Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

One of the biggest debates of the COVID-19 pandemic has been when and how to open school buildings without putting more people at risk of infection, and a recent study finds a smaller than expected relationship between in-person schooling and the spread of COVID-19 in Indiana communities.

Provided by Jessie Wong

Andrea Maltese laughs as she remembers the build up to the pandemic. At the time, she just wanted to get it over with, and was sure it wouldn't last long.

Screenshot captured via YouTube

Middle school and high school students in the South Bend Community School Corporation will now have the option to return to full-time in-person learning after spring break.

After piloting the district’s reopening plan at two middle schools and two high schools earlier this month, the board voted to send all secondary students back at its meeting on Monday.


Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

Middle and high school students in the South Bend Community School Corporation could soon return to a four-day week of in-person classes. The school board approved a pilot program at its meeting on Monday, March 1.

Edison and Jefferson Middle School and Riley and Adams High School will be the first to send students back for a four-day week.


Chief Academic Officer Brandon White said the schools were chosen since their principals had already contacted him and expressed interest in participating in a pilot program. 


Elkhart Community Schools students who have been learning on a hybrid plan will soon be able to return to fully in-person classes.

According to information released by the school system, K-6 students will go back to in-person classes starting Monday, March 8. Students in grades 7-12 will follow on Monday, March 15.


School City of Mishawaka

As St. Joseph County’s COVID-19 metrics continue to improve, another local school district has decided to send some students back to the classroom full-time.


The School City of Mishawaka voted on Wednesday to begin a phased reopening for middle and high school students.



UPDATE (Feb. 9):

At their meetings on Monday, Feb. 8, both the South Bend and Penn-Harris-Madison school boards voted to approve their districts' plans to return certain students to full-time in-person instruction.


Two local school boards will vote on whether to return certain students to full-time in-person learning.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

In the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, many Michiana schools have returned to full-time virtual learning. That’s not the case with one school district in Berrien County that’s bucking the trend.

With the exception of Bridgman High School, which moved to virtual learning on Nov. 18 per Michigan’s most recent Epidemic Order, Bridgman Public Schools have been holding in-person classes for the entire fall semester.

Elkhart Community Schools

Elkhart Community Schools will keep its hybrid in-person and online learning model through the Spring 2021 semester. 

In a video message to parents, Superintendent Steve Thalheimer said the decision was based on uncertainty about flu season and the county’s surge in COVID-19 cases, as well as staffing shortages caused by employees needing to quarantine due to the virus.

Screenshot captured from

The Indiana State Department of Health updated its COVID-19 school dashboard data this week, and according to the new numbers, two Elkhart County high schools have the highest student case counts in the state.


Zoom via YouTube

The South Bend Community School Corporation approved a return to an in-person learning option at its board meeting Monday night. All schools will phase in offering in-person classes as an option. Students who choose to attend in person will start back on staggered dates from Oct. 5 to Oct. 15.