Indian Prairie School District 204 is planning for its elementary, middle, and high school students to move to five days of in-person learning after spring break.
Reason for Five Days of In-person Learning
The decision comes after the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released their revised public health guidance for schools on Tuesday. “The guidance states that all schools must use the five essential mitigation strategies that are key to safely delivering in-person instruction and mitigating COVID-19 transmission in school. District 204 is already adhering to the mitigation strategies that include requiring face masks, social distancing, contact tracing, schoolwide cleaning and disinfection, and promoting hand washing and respiratory etiquette,” said Superintendent Dr. Talley in an email.
The key revision allowing for the increased in-person learning time is the reduction of the social distancing requirement from six feet to three.
“Unvaccinated staff should maintain 6 feet of social distance as much as possible because adults remain more susceptible to infection than children. ISBE and IDPH stress face masks must be required regardless of whether schools use 3 or 6 feet of social distance. Strict adherence to 6 feet of social distancing must be maintained when face masks are removed in limited situations such as when students are eating lunch,” said Talley.
D204 was struggling to find space at its schools for in-person learners as they were also balancing out maintaining six feet between each student. The reduction in social distancing now opens up the opportunity for more in-person learners.
Some changes to the schedule will take effect immediately.
“Elementary school: Remote students who were on the waitlist for in-person instruction will be moved to in-person. The remote families who selected in-person instruction at a different school or with a different teacher because their child’s classroom could not accommodate additional students will have the option to return to their original classroom. Elementary principals will be communicating with families about these changes.Middle school and high school: Only a limited number of alternative learning spaces will be used allowing students to be in their classrooms for instruction,” said Talley.
Just this week IPSD204 started integrating some of its elementary students to four-half days a week.
Remote learning will still be an option for families. It is unclear if the move to five days of in-person instruction will be full or half days.
Talley said additional schedule changes and dates will be presented to the Board of Education at the March 22, 2021 meeting.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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