'We want the choice': Demonstrators urge return of in-person learning at Mundelein High School

  • Mundelein High School students and parents rally for a return to school Tuesday outside the District 120 and 75 office on Lake Street in Mundelein.

      Mundelein High School students and parents rally for a return to school Tuesday outside the District 120 and 75 office on Lake Street in Mundelein. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • About 100 Mundelein High School students and parents rally Tuesday for a return to school outside the District 120 and 75 office on Lake Street in Mundelein.

      About 100 Mundelein High School students and parents rally Tuesday for a return to school outside the District 120 and 75 office on Lake Street in Mundelein. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • All Mundelein High School students are attending classes virtually, but a group of demonstrators rallied Tuesday for a return to in-person learning.

      All Mundelein High School students are attending classes virtually, but a group of demonstrators rallied Tuesday for a return to in-person learning. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/7/2020 8:44 AM

About 100 Mundelein High School students and their parents rallied outside one of the District 120 and 75 offices Tuesday evening in favor of reopening the school for in-person learning.

At least half of the 100 waved signs in front of 470 N. Lake St. in downtown Mundelein.

 

Most ralliers wore red and white, Mundelein High School's colors, and cheered as occasional horns honked in support during the evening rush on Mundelein's busiest street.

The demonstration coincided with a pair of school board meetings inside the building where some parents and students spoke.

Organizers of the event said they want the District 120 board to quickly approve a hybrid education model that would allow some students to attend classes at Mundelein High and others to continue with remote learning at home via computer.

They don't like the current model, in which all students are taking classes remotely.

"I think students learn differently," said senior football player Rudy Osornio. "It's easier to collaborate in person."

Officials representing both District 120 and Mundelein Elementary District 75 are preparing hybrid schedules for their boards' consideration. The staffs of both districts are led by the same superintendent, Kevin Myers. A parent survey is planned as part of the process.

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If the districts move to hybrid models, that could happen in late October or early November, Myers said in an email to families last week.

A trial program is planned for the high school that would open some classrooms to small groups of students who would be able to study together, Myers said. No formal instruction would take place in those gatherings.

"We want the choice to go back," said parent Colleen Finerty, who has four kids in Mundelein schools, including private schools. "If the private schools can be open, so can the public schools."

She and almost everyone else at the rally wore masks, but on the crowded sidewalk there was little social distancing.

Some suburban school districts have switched to or are switching to hybrid educational models since the start of the school year in August. They include Arlington Heights Elementary District 25, Glenbrook High Schools District 225, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211, Lake Zurich Unit District 95 and Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54.

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