River Trails District 26 students returning full time in April

  • Students in River Trails Elementary District 26 will return to classes full time in April, under a plan approved by the Mount Prospect-based district's board of education Tuesday.

    Students in River Trails Elementary District 26 will return to classes full time in April, under a plan approved by the Mount Prospect-based district's board of education Tuesday. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer, 2019

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 3/17/2021 11:50 AM

Students in River Trails School District 26 will return to school for full-time, in-person learning next month, under a plan approved by the district's board of education Tuesday.

The plan calls for students at Indian Grove and Euclid elementary schools to be back in class April 12, while those at River Trails Middle School will return April 19. It's a change from the district's previous hybrid plan, which allowed students to attend in person for half the day while working from home the other half.

 

A remote learning option will remain available to all families for the remainder of the school year, officials said.

"This is a major step for our district and we are eager to get a majority of our students back into the buildings," school board President Frank Fiarito said Wednesday in an announcement of the decision. "We always viewed in-person instruction as the optimal scenario and knew we would return to that setup as soon as it was safe to do so.

"It is also important for us to continue supporting families who choose to remain remote for health or personal reasons," he added.

Officials said the plan was created in conjunction with the River Trails Education Association and follows last week's updated guidance from Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education. The update called for less restrictive mitigation standards in schools, including a reduction of required social distancing from six feet to three feet.

A majority of River Trails staff will be at least two weeks removed from their second vaccination dose in time for the return of students, officials added.

Under the reopening plan, schools will keep windows open to improve ventilation and the school board approved the purchase of air filters for spaces where windows cannot be opened or where strict mask wearing guidelines cannot be followed.

"Our top priority has been and will always be to keep our students and staff healthy and safe," Superintendent Nancy Wagner said in Wednesday's announcement. "We will use every day until our return dates to ensure our buildings are prepared for full in-person learning, keeping in line with guidelines laid out by the IDPH and ISBE. At the same time, we are equally committed to our remote students who may choose to remain in that environment the remainder of the year."

The Mount Prospect-based district educates about 1,600 students in its three schools.

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