Worried NACS parents seek to ban book; district elevator contact tracing

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — At the Northwest Allen County Schools Board meeting on Monday night, topics ranged from COVID contact tracing protocols to required reading material in a 10th grade classroom at Carroll High School.

The board voted unanimously to scrap the close contact quarantine and contact tracing.

“There are too many girls and boys who don’t have to be released, who were due to the old policy, and we followed that through,” the NACS Acting Superintendent said. , Steve Yager. “But the new policy, we’re going to have more boys and girls in school.”

Yager told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that the change was a team effort of current and former employees. Yager said the data showed the change made perfect sense, and January’s COVID statistics showed the number of cases had declined and many healthy students stayed home in quarantine.

The district provided data showing that 1,823 students were quarantined due to exposure to COVID, but only 63 of those students tested positive.

“If a student is not with a teacher, even with e-learning, it’s not the same thing. You can never replace the face contact and non-verbal communication that happens in education,” Yager said.

Earlier this month, schools in southwest Allen County also scrapped their contact tracing, despite Gov. Eric Holcomb recommending the precaution. Schools in East Allen County are expected to consider a similar decision later this month.

The end of close contact quarantine for NACS begins February 15, 2022.

Superintendent Yager said the district had several discussions with the Allen County Health Department, which disagreed with the choice. Yager says NACS thinks its decision is best for students, and many parents have agreed.

“He was really my middle child and he backed off. He declined in friendships, declined in academics. I can see there was some social anxiety and that’s not what my child has been or will be in the future,” said NACS parent Kristi Corotezano-Smith. “If I don’t have to do any of this in my day-to-day life [you know I’m around more people than he is]. He’s in a constant environment, with the same people over and over and I’m not. Why do we have to live by two different rules? »

At Monday’s meeting, a number of parents also talked about required reading material in a Grade 10 class at Carroll High School.

During public comments, nearly 10 parents spoke out against Maya Angelou I know why the caged bird sings. Parents have asked the council to remove the book from the school’s reading list as they believe it is racist and gives graphic details of violent assault and rape.

“Some of the books that have been read tonight need to be eliminated. Not necessarily because we want to tell the board what to do, but we want to have morals,” Corotezano-Smith added. “We want to have character and we want to make sure that our children come out of here as assets to society, not at the expense of society.”

Corotezano-Smith says there are alternative materials.

“There’s a book called 1913 and it talks about when our taxes were taken, when social security contributions came into play and what happened in 1913. There’s a lot of classics there,” said Corotezano-Smith. “There are a lot of economics books. There are books on finance. Instead of asking kids to take a 25-question finance test and tick a box. There is a book called The 47 financial directors. They could read that. There is a book called Finances for teenagers. There are many things that could be read that can be applied and can be applied in everyday life for young people.

Corotezano-Smith thinks many districts across the country are sending children out into the world without providing them with life experience.

Superintendent Yager chose not to comment on the playlist. He will research the parents’ complaints to see if he can find a solution.

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