Round Lake 116 to start hybrid learning Monday
Students in Round Lake Area Unit District 116 will begin hybrid instruction model Monday, with a second wave of students beginning April 5.
Thirty percent of students opted to return to classrooms part-time for the remainder of the school year, with the rest remaining in fully remote learning.
Students choosing hybrid learning will attend school for half days twice a week. In general, students with the last name A through Lira will meet for in-person instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays. Students with last names starting with Lirb through Z will meet for in-person instruction on Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, all students will attend school remotely.
"I am beyond grateful to have some of the students physically back in our schools," Superintendent Donn Mendoza said. "We look forward to seeing and supporting them educationally, socially and emotionally."
Parents of the 7,300 students were offered a choice earlier this year for hybrid or full remote learning for the remainder of the school year.
Students will be subject to a short screening process when they arrive at school. This will include a temperature check and scanning of their student ID card to verify an online health screening has been completed.
If a student is displaying a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher or has a health screening that indicates COVID-like symptoms or exposure, the child will be quarantined within the school while a parent or guardian is contacted to pick up the child immediately.
Food will no longer be distributed at cafeterias; seven days of meals, including breakfast and lunch, will be provided to families on Wednesday mornings at established food distribution sites, except for Pleviak Elementary School. Drinking fountains won't be in use and students can bring water bottles to school.
When they are not in the school building, students will have a combination of live online instruction and assigned work.
District 116 will receive roughly $66 million as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act approved this year by Congress. The money will go to waive enrollment fees, help students who have lost ground academically during the pandemic, buy cleaning supplies and protective equipment, and pay for technology equipment and licenses.
The school district considers COVID-19 risk to be moderate, based on data for the 60073 ZIP code that shows a 3.96% test positivity rate, a rate of 10.4 cases per 100,000 population and three-day turnaround for COVID-19 tests.
• Trey Arline is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.