Some school districts scrap in-person learning plans as COVID-19 metrics rise


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By Kevin Bessler | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Some Illinois school districts that planned to switch from remote learning to in-person learning are changing course because of rising COVID-19 cases, to the frustration of parents and students.

Cary School District 26 in McHenry County is going back to remote learning Tuesday after returning kids to the classroom the week before. In a letter to families, school officials said the health department determined the school metrics used in making decisions regarding learning models have exceeded the threshold of three of the four metrics in order to remain in the hybrid model. 

In DuPage County, the Elmhurst and Naperville school districts have delayed plans for in-person learning because of an increase in COVID-19 cases. Bill Doyle, a parent in Naperville, recently told the school board that the news was devastating.

“My kids were ecstatic to go back to school this week,” Doyle said. “I cannot tell you the gut punch they felt when my wife broke the news to them after dinner that they are now delayed two more weeks.”

Crystal Lake School District 155 is going back to remote learning two weeks after it welcomed students back as part of a hybrid model. In a letter to parents, Superintendent Steve Olson said the reversal was necessary.

“We recognize that this isn’t an ideal situation and many of us are frustrated for various reasons, but it is our responsibility to do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while McHenry County is experiencing ‘substantial’ community transmission,” he said.

Schools in Farmington in Fulton County recently closed temporarily, but not because of rising COVID-19 cases in the area. A teacher tested positive, so the district went to remote learning for one week, but will return to the classroom.

Despite being located in a region of the state placed under restrictions from the governor, the Carbondale and Marion school districts, in Region 5, continue to offer in-person learning, as do the Bourbonnais and Kankakee school districts in Region 7.


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