District 87 sticking with remote learning for at least six more weeks
Glenbard High School District 87 is sticking with remote learning for at least another six weeks, delaying plans for hybrid instruction as a result of rising COVID-19 case counts.
In a letter to families Monday, Superintendent David Larson announced the roughly 8,000 students in the district will continue learning online. The new academic year began Aug. 17.
Larson cited an increasing number of infections in Glenbard communities and data in the county health department's newly released "Return to School Framework," a set of metrics and guidelines for operating schools during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the last five weeks, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has jumped from 195 to 428 in Glen Ellyn; from 452 to 684 in Lombard; from 557 to 758 in Carol Stream; and from 764 to 865 in Glendale Heights, according to the health department.
Larson said officials are aware of individuals becoming infected at social gatherings in the community and then transmitting the virus to others.
"Communities and schools that experienced increased COVID-19 cases have had to revert to increased restrictions and close schools after trying to open safely," Larson wrote. "We can learn from these cases that our diligence and dedication to following all precautions in the community and in our day-to-day lives can have a direct impact on each other's well-being and our collective desire to return to some level of in-person learning."
Administrators will continuously monitor the metrics and re-evaluate the learning model every six weeks.
The four-school district has released a survey to gather feedback on student and staff experiences with fully remote learning. The district has made "substantial changes" to scheduling, instruction and grading since mandated school shutdowns in the spring, Larson wrote.
The superintendent also made a plea for families to adhere to public health guidelines. If someone in a household is sick or awaiting COVID-19 test results, don't attend athletic events or school-related events and activities, Larson cautioned.
"We strongly urge families to not have social gatherings at their home or elsewhere in the community," he wrote. "We implore Glenbard families to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines, wear a mask in public, wash their hands and stay home if they are sick to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and get us closer to offering in-person learning."