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District leaders take part in a virtual forum to discuss their back to school plans

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FORT WAYNE Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - School leaders came together virtually to discuss going back to school next week. Officials from Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools met with Fort Wayne United to have an open forum on Facebook live to talk about students going back to the classrooms in the middle of a pandemic.  

"It’s not just the physical health, it’s the social emotional health of our kids,” FWCS superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel said. “Well-being health of our kids and our adults as well.” 

It’s Daniel’s first school year leading the district, and he says it’s not just safety that’s important for students going back to school.  

“First and foremost, it is about relationships, relationships, relationships,” Daniel emphasized. “They need a time to share and just to talk to each other and you know what there's going to be emotion, and that’s okay.” 

East Allen County Schools superintendent Marilyn Hissong was also a part of the discussion. She says this year is going to be a learning curve for everyone.  

"Establishing a relationship virtually is always going to be more difficult than in person,” Hissong said. “But that doesn’t mean it can't happen.” 

Hissong says she wants to continue having open conversations like this one so that her parents can feel confident sending their kids back to their schools.  

"I think if there's way to continue to educate the community about what goings on in our buildings,” Hissong said. “Getting the community involved in something to support us, that’s the biggest thing we can do.” 

Both superintendents say they will be working alongside the Allen County Department of Health to ensure the safety of the students and staff throughout the year.  

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at

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