District 63 going to remote learning because of COVID-19
Six of East Maine School District 63's seven schools will shift to remote learning next week because of the COVID-19 crisis, officials announced Friday.
The decision applies to all five of the Des Plaines-based district's elementary schools and Gemini Middle School. First Steps Preschool will continue with in-person learning.
Classes won't be held Monday so teachers can plan. Remote learning will start Tuesday for kindergartners through eighth-graders.
Remote learning will continue at least through Jan. 14.
Classes aren't scheduled for Jan. 17 because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. District 63 officials hope to reopen the buildings on Jan. 18.
"However, parents should keep in mind that circumstances may change and the pause may be extended," a note on the district website says.
The preschool is exempt from the shift because it hasn't been hit as hard by staff shortages, officials said. Closing the other buildings will allow the district to shift substitute teachers to First Steps, if needed.
All before- and after-school activities are canceled for the week.
If officials decide the schools won't reopen Jan. 18, the school board will hold a special meeting to discuss the issue.
More information, including school-specific websites, directions and plans, can be found online at bitly.ws/ntXX.
District 63 serves Des Plaines, Niles, Morton Grove, Glenview and Park Ridge. It has about 3,500 students, from preschoolers through eighth-graders.
The district has recorded 385 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students and employees since last August, and 578 students or staff members reported being exposed to an infected person. According to the most recent data available, 110 new confirmed cases were reported between Dec. 13 and 31, as well as 142 people exposed to those with confirmed cases.