St. Charles school board hears it from residents about in-person learning

  • St. Charles Unit District 303 parents and students, seen here at a Sept. 14 rally, continue to deluge the school board with requests to open the schools to in-person learning.

    St. Charles Unit District 303 parents and students, seen here at a Sept. 14 rally, continue to deluge the school board with requests to open the schools to in-person learning. Courtesy Of Shaw Media

 
 
Updated 12/16/2020 8:29 PM

For more than an hour at Monday's St. Charles Unit District 303 school board meeting, the board members listened to recorded phone calls from residents -- some more polite than others -- offering the same plea: Open the schools to in-person learning.

The calls, one after another, served as the introduction to District 303 Superintendent Jason Pearson's standard meeting comments. He didn't address the calls during his comments, but when questioned by board members, Pearson said the district's learning plan for the second semester would be detailed at next Monday's Learning and Teaching Committee meeting.

 

Pearson also talked about a letter sent to families on Dec. 9 notifying them of the learning plan starting in January. Elementary school students are slated to return to daily in-person learning, while middle school and high school students will be in a hybrid model with a mix of remote and in-person learning.

That's assuming the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic allows a return after the in-person pause that was announced in November and that will continue through the winter break.

"It's such a difficult and stressful time," said school board Vice President Carolyn Waibel. "We're certainly aware of that. Our goal is still to get the greatest amount of in-person learning possible for our students."

The recorded calls played Monday came from all ages, including one from a second-grade student.

Even with the district planning a return to at least a hybrid model for all students in three weeks, many residents expressed the desire for all-day in-person learning five days a week as soon as possible.

"We certainly can talk about that at Monday's meeting," Pearson said. "We have some information about some of the constraints and then the opportunities that we have to try to extend the days."

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