Highland Middle School in Libertyville to resume full in-person learning April 12
Based on new guidance from health officials, Highland Middle School students in Libertyville Elementary District 70 will have an expanded in-person schedule sooner than expected.
Highland will fully reopen April 12 based on the revised guidance, which includes relaxed social distancing, from the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health.
"We are going to be full, in-person K through 8 April 12," Superintendent Matt Barbini said. "We're going to be good to go and we're going to hit that target."
Highland, which houses sixth through eighth graders, is the only middle school of the district's five school buildings. An enhanced hybrid model with longer hours started there March 8. But because of space issues, in-person learning five full days a week hadn't been planned until April 26.
The new guidance, issued March 9, defines social distancing for in-person learning as 3 to 6 feet for students and fully vaccinated staff.
"That's a game changer for us," Barbini said.
Another revision eased limits for in-person learning, including nonacademic school hour activities.
"It's really going to open us up in terms of serving kids, particularly around lunch," Barbini said.
As of Tuesday morning, 656 of Highland's 841 students, about 78%, were registered for in-person learning, with a small percentage of parents still undecided.
According to the district, 85% of all registered families at all five buildings selected in-person learning.