Starting Tuesday, April 6, students on the
hybrid schedule in Springfield Public Schools will start four-day
weekly schedules for in-person learning. Previously, hybrid students
attended either Tuesdays and Thursdays or Wednesdays and Fridays. The
new Tuesday-Friday schedule will be maintained until the end of the
school year, according to an email sent to parents by District 186 Superintendent
Jennifer Gill on March 24. Both remote and hybrid students learn
independently on Mondays, which will continue.
“This increase of in-person days for
hybrid learners is made possible by the reduced community spread
along with guidance released on March 9, 2021. The Illinois
Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education
joint guidance document provides a transition guide for returning to
learn. This is the guidance that we will follow as we make
student-centric decisions. The document is specific to Illinois and
is meant for Pre-K through 12th grade,” the email from Gill reads.
This document from IDPH and ISBE changed the
recommendation for social distancing for in-person learning from six
feet to three feet, which follows new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The recommendations also state that teachers who
are unvaccinated should still maintain a six-feet distance when
possible. Masks remain mandatory.
Remote learning schedules will remain the
same, and a student’s model of learning will also remain the same.
“Exceptions will be considered based on individual and school
circumstances. Any requests to change the learning mode for the
remainder of this school year will be considered on a case-by-case
basis in collaboration with teachers and school administration,”
Angie Meneghetti said the announcement about
the increased in-person school days came hours before a
bargaining session between the district and the Springfield Education
Association – the teacher’s union Meneghetti is acting president of.
Meneghetti said teachers with SEA would have
preferred to have planning efforts be focused on summer
learning programs and the return of students in the fall for the 2021-’22
school year. “Now we feel like we’re going to be focusing just on
surviving the last six weeks, and the other two objectives will be
put on the side,” Meneghetti told Illinois Times.
Gill said during a March 15 school board
meeting that she had heard from several teachers who said they want
students to return to in-person learning four days per week. “I’m trying to think of what we can do the last six weeks to
get us on the road to hopefully recovering some of this learning
loss,” Gill told the board.
According to the latest data published by
District 186, of nearly 13,000 students in the district, 45% are
enrolled in hybrid classes. There have been 103 students with
confirmed positive cases of COVID since August of last year. There
have been 122 confirmed positive cases among staff.
Contact Rachel Otwell at
Source by www.illinoistimes.com