Illinois schools prepare for in-class, remote learning this fall

(The Center Square) – The state of Illinois has released guidelines for schools for in-person instruction this fall, but some parents plan to keep their children home, opting for remote learning.

School districts must now prepare to offer both options for families.

While in-school instruction is recommended for all children, remote learning likely will continue in some form based on individual family and school district needs. Bloomington Public Schools Superintendent Barry Reilly said the district has sent out a survey to gauge how many students plan to stay home.

“When we get that feedback that will give us a better sense of parents who really don’t want their children in an in-person environment,” he said.

At school, students will be required to wear face coverings, undergo temperature checks, and practice social distancing. Gatherings of more than 50 people in one room is prohibited.

Peoria Public Schools Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat said students can choose either an in-person or remote option this fall, but that is not set in stone.

“They pick the virtual option and for some reason, it is not working out, they can actually after 9 weeks come back to the hybrid model,” Desmoulin-Kherat said.

The hybrid model is a staggered school schedule, with some students attending class on Mondays and Wednesdays while others go on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Reilly said he has talked with other school superintendents and the consensus is about 20 percent of students will stay away. But, he said, the best place for kids is in the classroom.

“My gut tells me that the majority of parents will want to send their kids to school and quite frankly that is what we want,” Reilly said. “We want kids in front of our teachers. We think that is the best way for them to learn.”

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