St. Charles middle, high school students will soon return to in-person learning 5 days a week
St. Charles Unit District 303 middle school and high school students are set to return to in-person learning five days a week starting next month.
The announcement was made during the school board's Learning and Teaching Committee meeting on Monday. The change is taking place as a result of the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education recently releasing revised public health guidance for schools.
Social distance for in-person learning is now defined as 3 to 6 feet for students and fully vaccinated staff.
"Maintaining 6 feet remains the safest distance, but schools can operate at no less than 3 feet in order to provide in-person learning," stated the Illinois State Board of Education. "Unvaccinated staff should maintain 6 feet social distance as much as possible because adults remain more susceptible to infection than children. Strict adherence to social distancing must be maintained when face masks are removed in limited situations and monitored by school staff."
In St. Charles school district, elementary school students are doing in-person learning, while middle and high school students have a hybrid of in-person and remote learning. Those middle school and high school students who are currently doing hybrid learning will have the option of returning to in-person learning five days a week after spring break.
Spring break starts March 29 and students will resume classes on April 5. Those students currently doing remote learning will continue to do so.
The current bell schedule will remain in effect for those middle school and high school students who choose to return to in-person learning five days a week. The district plans to send a questionnaire to families on Wednesday asking what instructional mode they would like. Families will have until Friday to respond to the questionnaire.
"One of the things that is important for us to know going forward is what families would like to do," School Superintendent Jason Pearson told school board members. "We do have classrooms in the district that have capacity constraints due to just the size of the rooms and the furniture in the room and how many students we can fit in the space. We may need to make some adjustments if we're moving forward with this plan. We need to make sure that the plans we are putting in place will accommodate the students that are requesting to attend in person."
The results of the questionnaire will be discussed at the school board's Business Services Committee meeting on Monday. The district expects to announce details about the plan to staff and students by March 24.
Even with the new guidelines, some rules will remain in place. Students and staff must still self certify when entering a district building and masks will still be required in school when not eating.
Buses are limited to a capacity of 50 people and students will have to wear a mask while on a bus.