Students at Indian Prairie School District 204 will likely return to school on a hybrid model the week of November 2.
That means families will have the option of choosing a combination of in school and remote learning, or staying fully remote.
“Parents will have to make a choice,” said D204 Deputy Superintendent Doug Eccarius. “Will they be sending their child for in-person for quarter two? Yes or no? We have a lot to work through for this plan. We need the number to know how many people are coming in and be sure we can fit all the students in the class room safely.”
Per District 204 here are their schedules for each level:
Early Childhood: Students who select in-person will be divided into two groups and come to school two days a week either in the morning or the afternoon. On the days students are not at school they will complete activities at home. Students who continue with remote learning will receive packets from their teacher for at home activities.
Elementary School: Thirty-one classrooms across the district are starting a hybrid pilot the week of October 12. Students who select in-person instruction will come to school two mornings a week from 9 am to 11:30 am. The current Monday schedule will remain with all students in remote learning. For students who continue with remote learning and when in-person students are not at school, there will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Beginning November 5, the pilot will expand to include all elementary schools.
Middle School: Students who select in-person instruction will come to school from 8 am to 12:59 pm two days a week. The current Monday schedule will remain with all students in remote learning. For students who continue with remote learning and when in-person students are not at school, there will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
High School: Students who select in-person instruction will come to school on select Mondays from 7:25 am to 2:05 pm based on last name and grade level. Remote learning will continue as is Tuesday through Friday for all students. For students who continue with remote learning and when in-person students are not at school, Monday’s schedule will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
The district plans on having 12 students per each classroom, and will look at alternative spaces in the school for larger class sizes.
The district said they would follow health and safety recommendations from the federal, state, and local authorities. Disinfecting high touch items, students and staff wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and self-monitoring for any signs of COVID-19 are some safety steps the district is taking.
Staff or students who show symptoms of COVID-19 will need to stay home for at least 10 days or until an alternative diagnosis or negative test. If they’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, meaning at a distance of six feet for 15 minutes, they will need to stay home for 14 days. And finally, if they test positive they’ll need to stay home for 10 days.
“Many people ask ‘why is it ten days for someone who test positive, but 14 days for someone in close contact?’ and that is because of people waiting for the possible onset of COVID for people who were in close contact knowing when they would possibly be contagious or infectious,” said Eccarius.
Students taking the bus will be seated in the same household, and will be socially distant from others the district said.
D204 is currently piloting a program that allows some students back in school so they can adjust their return to school plans.
Not All On Board
But not all are on board with the school transitioning plan.
Katie Popp, the president of Indian Prairie Education Association, said the teachers union is at a crossroads with the district.
“I’m addressing the board tonight because I’ve been repeatedly told that staff can not be informed of their professional responsibly within this hybrid plan until the board has been made aware,” said Popp. “This is not our common practice. We work collaboratively with administration to develop comprehensive plans to make sure what we put to both the board and the public meet the standards and rigor District 204 stakeholder have been accustomed to.”
Popp said that the logical thing was to make sure the plan included input from teachers. She made her statement during public comment so the board did not directly respond to her, but some did say they want feedback from district stakeholders on the return to school plan.
District 204 has been in a full remote model since the beginning of the school year, and has said they will not return to full in-person learning until phase five in the Restore Illinois plan.
On October 19 they’ll revaluate their updated return to school plan.
To watch the full board meeting, check D204’s YouTube page.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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