NewsEducation / August 28, 2020

NW Indiana School Reopens After Company Traps, Releases Bats

Bats were found inside Chesterton Middle School on Monday, one day before the school's scheduled reopening for limited in-person instruction. - hakkun/CC-BY-SA-3.0

Bats were found inside Chesterton Middle School on Monday, one day before the school's scheduled reopening for limited in-person instruction.

hakkun/CC-BY-SA-3.0

CHESTERTON, Ind. (AP) — It was bats, not coronavirus cases, that delayed a northwestern Indiana school's fall reopening for in-person classes after some of the flying mammals were discovered inside the building.

The bats were found inside Chesterton Middle School on Monday, one day before the school's scheduled reopening for limited in-person instruction during the coronavirus pandemic.

The spooky discovery delayed the middle school's start of its school year and prompted all students to begin the year with remote learning from home, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

But the school reopened Thursday for in-person classes in Chesterton, a town about 50 miles southeast of Chicago, after a wildlife removal company trapped and removed three bats, said Bridget Martinson, the Duneland School Corp.'s spokeswoman.

“They live-caught them and released them," she said.

A third of the school district's students have opted to stay home and take part in remote learning, while another third planned to return to the classroom. The remaining students are taking a hybrid approach of remote learning and returning to the classroom a few days each week on an alternating basis of two or three days, said Robert McDermott, the district's assistant superintendent.

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