Some Families Disappointed With D204’s Return To School Plan

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When Indian Prairie School District 204 revealed its latest return to school update on Monday night, it was met with some backlash – most of which was directed at the plans for high schools.

D204’s Plan

The plan gives families the option of choosing between a hybrid model of some in-person learning and remote, or fully remote.

High school students who select in-person instruction will come to school on select Mondays from 7:25 a.m. to 2:05 p.m. based on last name and grade level. Remote learning will continue as is Tuesday through Friday for all students, per the district.

That means a student would be back in school two times in three months, which some parents feel isn’t enough.

“All of us kind of feel this helplessness because we can’t fill this gap at home,” said Keri Dunn, a mother of two high school students at Neuqua Valley. “We can’t make a chemistry lab. So, there was a lot sense of ‘do these high schoolers matter?’”

More In-Person Opportunities Desired

Dunn said teachers and administrators are giving their best effort. But she feels the district needs a plan that gives students more opportunities to learn in-person.

Her son Alex said he’s willing to go back to school knowing that means his chances of contracting COVID-19 go up.

“It is a scary thought that chance of getting COVID-19, it is still a deadly pandemic. We are still in a pandemic,” said Alex. “But my education and my swimming, those are things I’m willing to sacrifice for because they are things I truly care about.”

The Neuqua Valley senior said he’s not the best remote learner, and some of his classes, like his music class, are meant to be in-person. Alex also said he’s worried that technology glitches and staring at a screen for more than five hours isn’t preparing him for his future.

Other Options

The Dunns said they’d like for the district to offer their original hybrid model, which called for an A/B/C schedule that allowed for more in-person instruction.

At the time of this recording the district hadn’t responded to an interview request. But at Monday night’s meeting, board members acknowledged that their plan wasn’t perfect, but are trying their best under current restrictions.

A current pilot program, which allows for some students to go back to in-person learning, will help the district gather information for its opening.

“We need to be listen to that feedback,” said Board President Mike Raczak. “And as decision makers it will be important for us to take that feedback and to continue to change.”

District 204’s return to school plan is not final yet; they’ll revaluate it on October 19.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.


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