District 25 to expand to daily, in-person instruction this summer
Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 plans to return to full, in-person, five-day-a-week instruction starting with summer school June 16 and continuing with the next school year beginning Aug. 19, officials said.
The move would serve as an expansion of the current four-day-a-week system for families that have chosen the in-person option. It likely would also mean continuation of any mitigation strategies, including mask wearing, recommended by the Cook County Department of Public Health at the time, said Superintendent Lori Bein.
A remote learning option may also be part of the mix for the fall -- whether the state mandates it, or District 25 chooses to offer it -- but the district would change the format into a remote academy taught separately from in-person instruction, Bein said.
A remote option would be offered in the extended school year program for students with special needs, and could be offered in the Summer U program that's open to all K-7 students, depending on family interest and staff availability, she added.
Registration for the summer school program, which will run from June 16 to July 14 at Thomas Middle School, started Monday. The half-day sessions of reading and math are free, but other classes will charge tuition.
Currently, nearly three-quarters of District 25 students are attending classes in person, with the remainder choosing remote. The in-person numbers are as high as 93% at Olive-Mary Stitt Elementary, and as low as 53% at Ivy Hill Elementary, district officials said.
District 25 has been under its current four-day-a-week program since Jan. 21, which follows raucous school reopening debates at school board meetings and in the community since last summer. The district started the academic year remotely before going to a hybrid system in October, then gradually increased the number of students in classrooms.
Some parents have called for schools to reopen for five days a week this spring. Under the current model, all students take remote instruction on Mondays.
But in a "Mondays Matter" presentation at a board meeting last week, Bein said Mondays are used for targeted small group instruction on Zoom, one-on-one meetings, and having remote and in-person students work together at least once a week.