Parents worried about the NACS seeking to ban the book; district elevator contact tracing

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 council voted unanimously to remove 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.

District provided data showing 1,823 students were quarantined due to Covid exposure, 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, Southwest Allen County Schools also withdrew its contact tracing, despite Gov. Eric Holcomb recommending the precaution. Eastern Allen County Schools is expected to consider a similar move later this month.

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

Superintendent Yager said the district has had several discussions with the Allen County Department of Health, which disagrees with the choice. Yager said NACS believes its decision is the best for the students, and many parents agreed.

“He was really my middle child and he’s backed off. He’s declined in friendships, declined in academics. I can see there’s been some social anxiety and who’s not my child who’s 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 everyday life [you know I’m around more people than he is]. It is in an environment that is constant, with the same people again and I’m not. Why do we have to live by two different rules? »

A number of parents at Monday’s meeting also talked about required reading materials in a 10th grade 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 must 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 to be active in society, and not detrimental to society. »

Corotezano-Smith said there are alternative materials.

“There’s a book called 1913 and it talks about when our taxes were collected, when Social Security taxes came into play and what happened in the year 1913. There’s a lot of classics there,” said said Corotezano-Smith. “There are a lot of economics books. There are books on finance. Instead of having children take a 25 question test in the area of ​​finance 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 believes many districts across the country are sending children into the world without providing life experience.

The Yager superintendent has chosen not to comment on the playlist. He will research the parents’ complaints to see if he can find a solution.

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