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Schools eye reopenings

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020

* ABC 7

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said there could be some students in Chicago Public Schools classrooms this fall, if the city continues to control COVID-19 cases.

CPS parents and students have been anxiously awaiting word from Chicago Public School officials on whether schools would open for in-person instruction.

“I broadly feel good that if we are able to keep our outbreak basically in control, as it is here, we will be in a position to have some capacity for in-person instruction,” Arwady said on a call with reporters Friday.

* ABC 7

Both Naperville School District 203 and Indian Prairie District 204 held school board meetings Monday night to detail the plan for the upcoming school year.

Both districts said they will offer families the choice between hybrid learning and an Online Academy - which would be completely remote learning.

Under hybrid learning, students do both E-Learning and in-person instruction. Students would attend class on alternating days to limit the number of students in schools.

School officials emphasized that the plans are fluid and subject to change, pending case numbers.

* ABC 7

Most of the students at Oak Park and River Forest High School will likely start the fall semester at home, the superintendent said Monday.

Though the plan is not finalized yet, the district has proposed that only some students will return for on-site instruction.

* WICS TV

The Champaign Unit 4 School District Board of Education talked about its reopening plan at a board meeting on Monday, July 13.

The board members discussed the options of a virtual academy and blended learning for the upcoming year.

Board members shared concerns about safety of students and teachers, and about the potential of the state as a whole going back to remote learning.

* Evanston…


* Crystal Lake Patch

Students are expected to return to school in the coming weeks, and District 47, like most school districts throughout the Chicago area, is still weighing its options on how to do that safely amid continued concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Denise Barr, director of communications and public engagement for District 47, told Patch that the Board of Education discussed the pros and cons, as well as the logistics behind various instructional models, during a July 7 meeting.

The Board is expected to vote on one of these three options during its July 20 meeting:

    full-day, in-person instruction every day on Monday through Friday
    half-day in-person instruction every day on Monday through Friday
    full-day in-person instruction two to three days per week

* On to higher ed

Most of Loyola University’s classes this fall will be online, according to an email sent to students, faculty and staff Monday.

The email, sent from university President Jo Ann Rooney and Provost Norberto Grzywacz, announced that in-person classes will only be offered for courses that need face-to-face instruction — things like labs, research and experiential learning classes.

* Meanwhile, we’re unfortunately going to see lots more stories like this

An employee at Mt. Pulaski CUSD 23 has tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee has been in isolation since being tested last week.

Officials with the school district said the employee has come in contact with other employees and students.

* And

The O’Fallon Illinois Y summer camp is closed for the next two weeks, after three employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Gateway Region YMCA confirmed the two employees tested positive last week. A third was confirmed through a release issued Monday.

* And

A Macomb day-care center has closed temporarily following an outbreak of the disease coronavirus causes.

COVID-19 cases were traced to the Wesley Christian Child Development Center, 1212 W. Calhoun St., according to the McDonough County Health Department. The 46-year-old day-care facility for children is located at Wesley United Methodist Church.

What else are you seeing out there?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - Wpeac - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    Outside of Springfield, Pleasant Plains High School is apparently planning to return to school full-time in person and bearish on requiring masks for students. Which seems like a recipe for disaster…


  2. - ZC - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    Sadly, keep an eye on higher ed announcements as we move past August 1st. That’s when nearly all student deposits will be due (and not easily reversed). I admire Loyola for being transparent with its student body as “early” as mid-July, and I fear they’re going to pay an enrollment price for it.


  3. - Bruce (no not him) - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 11:11 am:

    Hearing that Alton Schools will give option to students, whether in school or remote. Teachers however, no option. In School.


  4. - Arock - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    My understanding so far on the daycare in Macomb has an employee that tested positive and two of their golf group tested positive also. No information on whether everyone has been tested yet and if any kids were the source of the infection.


  5. - J D S - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    As school districts choose different reopening plans, is there any entity coordinating districts by “Phase” region so teachers aren’t given the unenviable choice of choosing between their jobs or staying home to remotely educate their own children? Apparently, ISBE is requiring that students receive grades this year for in school, hybrid and remote learning educations. It seems like there could be a teacher shortage, or, at minimum, a disruption in school openings if teachers with K-12 children are not fully taken into account.


  6. - Enviro - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 11:29 am:

    Here’s the full statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and AASA, the School Superintendents Association:

    Educators and pediatricians share the goal of children returning safely to school this fall. Our organizations are committed to doing everything we can so that all students have the opportunity to safely resume in-person learning.

    We recognize that children learn best when physically present in the classroom. But children get much more than academics at school. They also learn social and emotional skills at school, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health support and other services that cannot be easily replicated online. Schools also play a critical role in addressing racial and social inequity. Our nation’s response to COVID-19 has laid bare inequities and consequences for children that must be addressed. This pandemic is especially hard on families who rely on school lunches, have children with disabilities, or lack access to Internet or health care.

    Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff. Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools. Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics. We should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it.

    Local school leaders, public health experts, educators and parents must be at the center of decisions about how and when to reopen schools, taking into account the spread of COVID-19 in their communities and the capacities of school districts to adapt safety protocols to make in-person learning safe and feasible. For instance, schools in areas with high levels of COVID-19 community spread should not be compelled to reopen against the judgment of local experts. A one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for return to school decisions.

    Reopening schools in a way that maximizes safety, learning, and the well-being of children, teachers, and staff will clearly require substantial new investments in our schools and campuses. We call on Congress and the administration to provide the federal resources needed to ensure that inadequate funding does not stand in the way of safely educating and caring for children in our schools. Withholding funding from schools that do not open in person fulltime would be a misguided approach, putting already financially strapped schools in an impossible position that would threaten the health of students and teachers.

    The pandemic has reminded so many what we have long understood: that educators are invaluable in children’s lives and that attending school in person offers children a wide array of health and educational benefits. For our country to truly value children, elected leaders must come together to appropriately support schools in safely returning students to the classroom and reopening schools.


  7. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 11:40 am:

    plainfield is having a school board meeting tomorrow.

    People are asking if there is a copy of the plan the district plans to discuss during the meeting, because the district has not released the contents of the planned meeting yet.

    Since this was a board that tried to call the unhealthy levels of lead in their school water, fake news, I have no doubt they will bring that same level of concern for the health of people to their upcoming decision.


  8. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 11:53 am:

    WIU has sent out one very generic email that does not tell you if your class has an online option. Only those classes that all ready were.
    Rooms will be singles masks required and they specifically mention the gym will be open.


  9. - Top of the State - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 11:53 am:

    One school district is taking a wait and see attitude for now. The clock is ticking as they have a mid August reopening on the calendar. New teachers are waiting on contracts, etc. And parents need to plan if there is a stay at home component. Complicated.


  10. - anon2 - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 12:26 pm:

    Sounds as if many school districts are defying the orders from the Commander in Chief and the Education Secretary that they open full-time for onsite instruction.


  11. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 12:35 pm:

    My opinion is the Governor should have already pushed the start date to after Labor day. We are on the brink between our stable situation and other states imploding. Push the calendar including sports a couple weeks. If we are in steep decline its a different game.

    Also, call our local school or teacher to see what they need. Time to come off that pile of bleach wipes and hand sanitizer and donate it to the local school.


  12. - R A T - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 12:44 pm:

    With daycares opening, I am trying to read if they are a good indicator of what will happen in schools. That is, if they are not spreading it, is that good news for schools? But I’m not seeing any good articles along my way of thinking.


  13. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Look at the data about schools reopening Worldwide.

    THE BIG PICTURE—THINGS ARE GOING WELL
    While more than a few educators told us that they worry about new outbreaks, a clear majority of teachers reported they are happy to be back in school—and so are the students.

    Despite all the new rules and restrictions, younger students “get out of cars or off the bus in the morning with gigantic smiles” and are delighted to see friends and teachers, said Laura Landers, a primary school leader in the Netherlands. In China, high school biology teacher Christopher Noordhoek’s students “were really struggling with anxiety and depression during the height of the pandemic.” The return to school has “not only brought them a sense of normalcy and routine but also a network of friends and teachers to keep each other grounded.”

    https://www.edutopia.org/article/teachers-around-world-tell-us-reopening-tough-joyful


  14. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 2:07 pm:

    ===a primary school leader in the Netherlands===

    “Weekly COVID-19 update: 8-14 July 2020

    534 new COVID-19 infections were reported over the past week. Hospital admissions for 16 patients”

    https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/current-information

    17.28 million people and they’re getting about 80 new cases per day.


  15. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    ==THE BIG PICTURE—THINGS ARE GOING WELL==

    Lol. You know we’re in the U.S. right? Where cases are spiraling out of control? But, yeah, things are just fine and dandy.

    You’ve bought into the Trump kool-aid haven’t you.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    === THE BIG PICTURE—THINGS ARE GOING WELL===

    https://images.app.goo.gl/5bXukgPXMmtCU6NAA


  17. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 4:14 pm:

    =Look at the data about schools reopening Worldwide.=

    I’d love to send my kids to school in the Netherlands. But travel to Europe from the U.S. is banned right now.


  18. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 14, 20 @ 4:43 pm:

    =Sounds as if many school districts are defying the orders from the Commander in Chief and the Education Secretary that they open full-time for onsite instruction.=

    Probably because they have zero authority over us. It is a running joke in our reopening planning meetings.

    =Look at the data about schools reopening Worldwide.=

    I’d love to send my kids to school in the Netherlands. But travel to Europe from the U.S. is banned right now.=

    Winner winner, chicken dinner. If LP had any pride he would not post again after that Wordslinger quality response (my highest compliment).


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