District 300 school board postpones meeting on hybrid learning plan until Sept. 22

 
By Cassie Buchman
Shaw Media
Updated 9/11/2020 12:59 PM

Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300's school board postponed a vote on what the district's learning plan would look like for the second quarter to its meeting Sept. 22.

District 300 schools have been conducting remote learning since the beginning of the year over concerns about the number of COVID-19 cases locally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

During a Tuesday school board meeting, Superintendent Fred Heid said the administration's recommendation is that elementary, middle and high schools move into a hybrid schedule for the district's second quarter, which begins Oct. 13.

Under this plan, schools would have half of their students on campus each day, while the other half would work remotely, and then switch groups the next day. Families could still choose a remote option if they wanted.

This hybrid plan is now possible because the district has good systems in place to mitigate and manage exposure events, additional personal protective equipment solutions have been sourced, and social distancing is attainable, Heid said.

The board was set to vote on this plan during a special meeting Friday, but decided to push back the vote to later in the month.

Board President Anne Miller said they did not postpone the vote because they were disappointed in Heid's plan, but rather, because there was a lot of work still going into the plan.

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Parents would receive more information about it Friday, Miller said.

"We've noticed there's been some discussion, there's been some debate and comments that have been surrounded around inaccurate information," Miller said.

Postponing the meeting will allow correct information about the plan to be shared and give district administration more time to work out some details, Miller said.

In a message to families posted on the district's website, Miller said school board members have received numerous emails about the recent proposal to transition from a full remote learning model to an option that brings students back to school

Some people agreed with the proposal presented Tuesday, while others do not, Miller said, though most emails acknowledged the difficult decision the board faces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

At Tuesday's board meeting, Heid cautioned that though students might be able to be physically in the classroom under a hybrid schedule, the school environment will still look very different as extra safety precautions are taken.

Masks will be required when students are physically in the classroom and social distancing will be required. Students will not use lockers, and will not have dances, Heid said.

"What everyone needs to understand is reopening schools is not a return to normalcy," Heid said. "You're returning to a static, sterile environment. You are not returning to school as we know it and as we've come to love it in the past until things change."

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