District 54 to offer hybrid learning model starting Oct. 19
Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 will begin providing a hybrid model of instruction on Oct. 19, offering students their first opportunity for in-person learning this school year.
School board members unanimously approved the plan Thursday after a presentation by administrators.
Parents were emailed a letter immediately after the meeting explaining the option and asking them to decide by Tuesday whether their children would participate in the hybrid model or remain exclusively with remote learning.
The goal is to divide the number of students choosing the hybrid model in half, with each group attending school in person for two days each week. An average in-person class size of eight to 12 students is anticipated.
A similarly limited amount of in-person instruction recently started for some special-education students as well as first-time English learners who've moved to the U.S. since the start of the year.
The return of in-person learning will be accompanied by protocols for wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, reporting symptoms and increasing hygiene.
"District 54 staff desperately want to have students in class," Superintendent Andy DuRoss said.
But public health metrics, changing guidance and other factors may cause the district to pivot between the hybrid model and full remote learning until the threat of COVID-19 is considered negligible through effective treatment, District 54 officials said.
Only three of the 12 people who spoke during public comment thanked the board for its decision or even directly acknowledged it. The rest largely addressed what they considered the inadequacy of any amount of remote learning for elementary students -- including one unhappy that children who've arrived in the U.S. during the pandemic were allowed to return to school first.
Board President Bob Kaplan denied any political motivation for the board's decisions and cautioned against viewing COVID-19 opinions as facts.