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District 186 Prepares For Fall Registration, Parents Wary Of School Reopenings

Courtesy of Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School

The District 186 school board voted to open registration and ask parents if they want their children to return to the classroom a few days a week, while learning online the other days, or participate only online. 

Superintendent Jennifer Gill said scheduling will be based on how many students are enrolled, but could change depending on the severity of the pandemic.

“At any point of time if the state moves back into a different phase or if our numbers are calling upon us to go remote only, then we would move back into a remote only model,” Gill said.

Under a proposal presented Monday, hybrid scheduling would have students alternate in-person days, allowing the schools to meet classroom limits. The other days students would participate remotely.

Registration begins today, and will close on July 31st.

Parents and teachers at Springfield’s public schools expressed concerns about the district’s plan to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.

Students and staff attending in-person would be required to wear face masks, maintain social distancing, and have their temperature taken as they enter school buildings.

Registered nurse Susan Smith said some of those requirements aren’t enough to ensure safety.

“It would take three skin screeners about 40 minutes to get through all those kids, and think of the lines outside of the building if they’re standing 6 fix apart in the cold or the rain,” Smith said. “Their temperature would not be accurate.”

Smith shared her concerns with the school board Monday. Other opponents of the new policy said the district should start off with only remote learning because cases of COVID-19 in Sangamon County are rising.

The school board will meet again on August 3 to discuss adopting the reopening plan.

Olivia Mitchell is a graduate Public Affairs Reporting intern for the spring 2020 legislative session.
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