Some Dist. 214, Dist. 25 students could be back in school week of Oct. 12

  • About 20 parents attended the Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 school board meeting Thursday night to call on the district to adopt a full return to in-person learning. The district plans to go to a hybrid model Oct. 12.

      About 20 parents attended the Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 school board meeting Thursday night to call on the district to adopt a full return to in-person learning. The district plans to go to a hybrid model Oct. 12. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/24/2020 11:09 PM

Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and one of its largest feeder districts on Thursday revealed plans to bring back some students to schools as soon as the week of Oct. 12.

In a letter to parents, District 214 Superintendent David Schuler announced the anticipated move to Stage 3 of the district's four-step plan on Thursday, Oct. 15. The district's six high schools would begin a rotational schedule, in which one-third of students would attend school in-person at a time, so long as local COVID-19 infection rates don't force a return to the current stage where students are fully remote.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Families would still have a choice about whether their students should maintain full remote learning, or if they'd like to attend in-person on assigned days. When students aren't in school, they will continue to attend courses remotely, Schuler added.

At a special school board meeting Thursday night, Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 Superintendent Lori Bein announced plans to go to a hybrid schedule Monday, Oct. 12.

Under the plan, all students would learn remotely on Mondays. Those with last names A-K would be in school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the other half is remote. Last names L-Z would be in person on Wednesdays and Fridays, while the other half is remote.

Kindergarten and grades 1, 5 and 6 will be the first to return to schools the week of Oct. 12, while all other grades will return the week of Oct. 19, Bein said.

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Families will receive a brochure on Friday, asking them to decide by next Wednesday if their student will participate in the hybrid model or remain in full remote learning.

The gradual reopenings of school buildings comes as a number of parents continue to clamor for a full return to daily, in-person instruction.

The Re-Open D214 parent and student group is planning a rally for 12:30 p.m. Saturday at North School Park in Arlington Heights to call for an immediate reopening of schools. The rally is also billed as an event for families in District 25 and Glenbrook High School District 225.

On Thursday night at the District 25 meeting, many of the parents who addressed the superintendent and board members sought a full return to schools, not just two days a week.

"Hybrid is just a step. This is not a destination. This is not a goal," said Brittany Polihronis. "Students need to be back in the classroom, not looking at tiny squares on a screen."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

District 25's transition advisory committee next meets Tuesday to develop a set of metrics that would guide a return to full, in-person learning.

Bein said the hybrid model announced Thursday night would allow for a fluid transition to a full reopening once those metrics are met. The 460-member Arlington Teachers Association does have contractual rights to bargain over working conditions, but Bein said her administration has a good working relationship with the union.

"Our goal remains to move to full in-person learning," Bein said. "We all agree nothing is as good as our typical in-person goal."

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