U-46 won't bring youngest students back next week

  • Tony Sanders

    Tony Sanders

By Mary Chappell
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 10/22/2020 10:42 PM

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

Elgin Area School District U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders used that quote from Scottish poet Robert Burns to lead off his weekly newsletter and announce Thursday that the state's second-largest school district is delaying its plan to bring pre-K through second-grade students back to school.


Students were scheduled to return to in-person instruction Tuesday under a hybrid format, but two staff members in the district's transportation facility on Shales Parkway tested positive for COVID-19 within a 28-hour period, and the department sent home nine additional staff members to quarantine for 14 days.

"We cannot serve 5,000 students in pre-K to second grade without a functioning transportation department," Sanders wrote. "At this time, we do not have dispatchers available to guide drivers, respond to parent calls and ensure students can be safely transported."

U-46 hasn't set a new date to bring those students back.

"We all were looking forward to seeing the smiling eyes of our youngest learners as they returned for their second 'first day' of school," Sanders wrote. "I know that day will come. It just is not yet."

The district will continue to offer in-person instruction for students with special needs. Buses for those students will operate out of the district's Chicago Street facility in Elgin.

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