When Indianapolis Public Schools reopens its doors Aug. 3 for the start of the 2020-21 school year, it is committed to ensuring schools are as safe as possible for students and staff. The decision to reopen schools was carefully made after reviewing guidance provided by the Indiana Department of Education, the Marion County Public Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with state and city leadership, as it relates to minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Highlights of the plan include both in-person and full-time remote learning options for the new school year.
  • For students participating in full-time in-person learning, the district has created a variety of safety protocols:
    • All staff and students in Grades K-12 will be required to wear masks. Some exceptions will apply, and mask breaks will be included throughout the day. Teachers will also be provided face shields to allow for better comprehension while teaching. One reusable mask will be provided by the district to all students and staff.
    • Social distancing of 3 to 6 feet will be required in all schools, including classrooms, hallways, restrooms, cafeterias, offices and on playgrounds. Classroom doors will be propped open for full ventilation.
    • Individually wrapped/prepackaged meals will be served in cafeterias due to food safety and staffing. Students in Grades K-8 will eat meals inside classrooms. Students in Grades 9-12 will eat meals inside school cafeterias. Times will be staggered to ensure proper social distancing.
    • Schools will be equipped with touchless water fountains. Students will also receive a district-issued water bottle to keep at school. Manual water fountains will be turned off or blocked.
    • Recess will still take place outside and social distancing will be maintained. In some instances, only one homeroom will be on the playground at a time.
    • Masks will be required on school buses. IPS is adding crossing guards and implementing walk zones at selected schools to support and encourage walking to and from school, and to decrease the number of students on buses. Each bus will have a monitor to enforce safety protocols.
    • School nurses and trained staff will also be on-site to screen students and staff who may be displaying COVID-19 symptoms. All IPS buildings will have a designated isolation room, and self-reporting and school-based reporting protocols have been created.
  • For students who are unwilling or unable to return to school for full-time in-person learning, they may opt to do full-time remote learning, also starting Aug. 3.
    • Families who choose the remote learning option will be required to fill out and submit the district’s Full-Time Remote Learning Registration Form. The deadline to complete the form, which is available on the district website, is July 17.
    • IPS will be a 1:1 district with every student receiving a device to support high-quality learning both in school and at home. The district has invested in iPads for every student in Grades K-2 and Chromebooks for students in Grades 3-12. MiFi mobile hot spot devices will also be available for families who do not have internet access.
    • All students and staff will be ready to transition to full remote learning on short notice, even if they have opted for in-person learning.
For a complete guide to the full back-to-school plan, including a video and FAQs, families can go to our IPS Back to School webpage HERE.