EGHS could shift to hybrid learning in mid-October

Natalia Habas, Editor-in-Chief

On Friday, March 13, 2020 all students were sent home from school a week early for spring break. Many students thought it would just be an extra week before spring break as the Covid-19 pandemic started to pick up.

However, that supposed extra week of spring break turned into a stay-at-home order, and Elk Grove High School students didn’t return to school for the rest of the 2020 school year. 

Most students have not yet returned to school during the remote environment. However, on Thursday, Sept. 24, Superintendent David Schuler sent out an email that Township High School District 214 schools could tentatively move to a hybrid model Oct. 15 as part of the district’s reopening plans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This move, which would put the district at stage three of its four-stage reopening plan, would come into play when the case numbers for COVID-19 are 70 or less per 100,000 in the area for 10 consecutive days. 

“We would bring in up to 14 students per class at a given time and then when we get under 70 cases per 100,000 would give parents and students the choice of when they want to come in,” Schuler said in a Zoom call.

In the current reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year, District 214 is examining four stages based on data from the Cook County Department of Public Health, according to an email from Schuler. The first stage would be fully remote learning, like what students had in the spring. Stage two, the current stage, consists of most students learning remotely but small populations of students for special programs in the building.

Currently, students are fully remote, outside of a few students in specialized programs. As the school year goes on and the situation with COVID-19 changes, updates will be sent out to students and parents.

The latest announcement comes as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to infect Illinois. After the end of spring break during the 2020 school year, District 214 students and parents received a letter from Lazaro Lopez, the associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction. The letter stated that District 214 would be remote learning starting March 30. In the letter, Lopez said that the “primary purpose of remote instruction is to provide social-emotional support along with opportunities to improve a student’s academic standing”. 

On April 8, Schuler sent out a letter discussing the extension of Gov. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order and school closings through April 30, with implications for end-of-year recognitions, award ceremonies and celebrations. In the letter, he announced that “…many of our activities, recognitions, award ceremonies and celebrations will not be taking place as scheduled the rest of this school year due to COVID-19 and the social distancing parameters that are currently in place.”

Toward the end of April, Schuler sent out another letter concerning Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s suspension of in-person classes for the rest of the school year. He also released the District 214 remote learning plan. 

As summer vacation was coming to an end, on July 16, Schuler announced the plan to return to school. In this plan, students and families were given the choice of returning to school in-person or continue online learning. 

This plan was removed as guidance from Cook County and Department of Illinois Public Health changed at the end of July.