District 303 students set to return to full day of in-person learning in the fall
Come fall, St. Charles District 303 students are set to return to a full day of in-person instruction.
District 303 Superintendent Jason Pearson made the announcement during the school board's Business Services Committee meeting on Monday.
"What that means for the high school is that the hours would be from 7:20 a.m. to 2:21 p.m., middle school would be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., elementary is of course 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and our early childhood morning program is from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the afternoon program is from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.," Pearson said.
Pearson said the district believes it will be able to offer a full day of instruction for all grade levels under the state's current COVID-19 mitigations that require schools to maintain three to six feet of social distancing.
"We are looking forward to perhaps some additional guidance as well as flexibility in the updated document from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health," he said.
Pearson also told board members that the district's Instruction and Remote Learning Task Force has reconvened.
Task force members "are having some conversations about some of the lessons that we've learned from our remote learning as well as our instructional day, with the understanding that it is probable that we will still be expected to offer some remote learning for students that may potentially have a medical reason to access their learning in that mode," he said.
"The state has indicated that although we won't have to probably offer it on the same scale as what we're currently doing, that there is a potential that it would still be required," Pearson said. "They're trying to gather some information and begin some planning in anticipation of that happening. Of course, once we have the guidelines, we'll be able to bring you more detailed information about that."
But based on what he has heard recently from the Kane County Health Department, Pearson said he expects some mitigations will still be in place this fall, including wearing masks and maintaining 3 to 6 feet of social distancing.
District 303 middle school and high school students on April 5 returned to in-person learning five days a week following spring break. The district's elementary school students were already doing in-person learning five days a week.
The change took 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."
Right now, St. Charles High School students are in school from 7:20 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. Extended learning sessions are offered from 1:10 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. and from 1:50 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.