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Archive for the ‘Pritzker’s Rules of Order’ Category

Ellie Luciano adjusts her backpack while keeping a physical distance form her peers at Wiesbrook Elementary in Wheaton

A bellwether for school reopening efforts in the pandemic, elementary classrooms in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 welcomed back students two weeks ago for the first time in more than 170 days.

As of Tuesday, the district has reported at least four students and one employee have tested positive for the coronavirus. But the district hasn’t identified any close contacts with those cases across the 13 elementary schools. Administrators credit physical distancing measures for helping to thwart the spread of the virus.

After months of enormous challenges preparing for an in-person start, the district still faces the complicated task of keeping the doors open in elementary schools. It’s also one of the major suburban districts pushing for at least a mix of face-to-face and virtual learning for middle and high school students.

Elmhurst Unit District 205 is providing another template, gradually sending students back to schools. On Monday, elementary students moved to a hybrid schedule. Sixth and ninth grades will follow suit Sept. 21. Populations of students with special needs also are now receiving on-campus instruction.

Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300’s school board will vote next Tuesday on the district’s learning plan for the second quarter.

District 300 originally had planned on starting the year in-person but switched to remote learning. Now the administration recommends moving elementary, middle and high schools to a hybrid schedule for the second quarter beginning Oct. 13.

Read more here.

Editorial notes: During last night’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Brian Harris gave no date for reopening 220 schools even at a hybrid level much to the frustration of parents and students who spoke during the meeting.  

One could sense the frustration on the part of board members, but all Harris seemed to want to do was talk about metrics, doing more surveys and fumble with his PowerPoint slides. Meanwhile, only 80% of teachers and staff are willing to work on 220 property while the rest work elsewhere.

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Authorities estimate that about 500 people turned out for the “Barrington Back-to-School Rally” Sept. 14, 2020 at Citizens Park in Barrington.. (Karie Angell Luc / Pioneer Press)

Hundreds of people packed the lawn at Citizens Park in Barrington Monday, protesting against continuation of remote learning and calling for officials to allow students to play fall sports.

Barrington police estimated that 500 people attended the “Barrington Back-to-School Rally” and officers were out on foot and directed traffic ahead of the anticipated audience turnout.

The rally was to advocate to get children back to school in person.

“I want my kids to be in school,” said parent Erin Matta, of Barrington.

Amid ongoing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus, some school districts – including nationwide – opted to start the 2020-2021 academic year with students doing remote learning.

E-learning was a hot topic at the rally in Barrington Monday and the subject of adverse signage.

Read the Chicago Tribune/Barrington Courier-Review coverage of the rally here.

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The Barrington 220 Board of Education is meeting tonight at 7:00 PM at 515 West Main Street. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

The board is not scheduled to meet again until October 6th, so those wishing to comment publicly on current topics of interest would be advised to attend and speak. For those who cannot attend, meetings are streamed on YouTube, and the link can be found here.

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Parents in Barrington Area Unit District 220 said at a rally Monday evening at Citizens Park in Barrington that remote learning is a struggle no matter how much they try to help. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

Holding signs like “Schools not screens” and “Stop playing politics, start playing ball,” more than 200 parents and students in Barrington Area Unit District 220 took part in a rally Monday evening asking the district to allow in-person schooling and sports.

District officials have said that students will be doing remote learning until at least Oct. 16. The “Let Them Play” rally at Citizens Park in Barrington asked Gov. J.B. Pritzker to “get our athletes on the field and kids back in the classrooms.”

Among the organizers were parents Jerry and Heather Ewalt of Barrington, who have four children in elementary, middle and high school in the district and said families should be given a choice between e-learning and sending their kids to school.

“Why are they not in school? They should be there,” Jerry Ewalt said. “I am asking for a choice. I understand some people are not going to be comfortable with going into school, and that’s OK.”

A survey conducted by the district earlier this summer showed 70% of parents wanted their children in school, he pointed out. “So why are they not in school?” he said, getting applause and cheering from the crowd.

The survey also showed about 50% of the district’s staff had concerns about returning to work.

Read more here.

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The Daily Herald is reporting, “Monday, some parents in Barrington Area Unit District 220 are planning a ‘Get Our Kids Back to School and Let Them Play!’ rally at 6 p.m. at Citizens Park.”

We’ll provide further information when it becomes available.

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Demonstrators hold signs along Harnish Road Tuesday during a rally for the reopening for in-person learning at the Algonquin-based Community Community Unit District 300 Central Office in Algqonquin. (Matthew Apgar/Shaw Media)

Saying that remote learning has not been successful, a group of concerned parents and students from Algonquin-based Community Community Unit District 300 rallied outside the Center Office asking district officials to reopen to in-person learning.

District 300 has been remote since the beginning of the year because of COVID-19.

Several speakers at the rally said they were worried for children’s mental health and the social isolation they might feel from not seeing their friends.

One Algonquin resident, Sharon Vandermeir, said her grandchild, in kindergarten, is not learning anything.

“She gets distracted easily, she’s bored, she doesn’t like to sit in front of a computer for six hours a day,” Vandermeir said. “The kids need an education, and Zoom is not an education.”

Read more here.

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Students lined the front row at a rally at Memorial Park in Wheaton Tuesday to demand in-person schooling be allowed.

As students across the Western suburbs begin the school year with remote learning, hundreds of parents rallied in a downtown Wheaton park Tuesday night to demand that students be allowed to return to classrooms and youth sports.

Parents of student-athletes in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 organized the demonstration to increase pressure on school systems to make the leap to in-person instruction even as coronavirus case counts continue to climb in much of the region, particularly among young people. DuPage County has registered more than 1,300 new infections within the past 14 days.

The gathering in Wheaton’s Memorial Park drew participants from as far away as Mokena and Orland Park, Western Springs and Huntley.

Along with students, some teachers and coaches, parents at the rally made the case for reopening classrooms, arguing that the loss of social interaction in schools hurts their children’s emotional, mental and social well-being.

“Any parent could tell you that it’s not good for kids to be staring at a screen for 25 hours a week,” said Eric Brown, a parent of five children learning from home in District 200. “It’s not good for the kids. It’s not good for the teachers and what they do best.”

Read more here.

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In this last month of live horse racing for the year at Arlington International, the racecourse got approval to allow spectators inside starting Thursday and tickets are now on sale.

Officials from the Arlington Heights Department of Health and Human Services, Cook County Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health approved a plan Aug. 27 that had been submitted by Arlington International Racecourse, located in Arlington Heights, to allow a limited number of spectators into the outdoor areas of the facility on race days, according to a news release from the racecourse.

The plan will be in full operation Thursday, just in time for watching the Kentucky Derby Saturday, officials said in the release.

There are some special provisions in light of the pandemic: All tickets must be purchased online at least 24 hours in advance and access is limited to adults age 18 and older only. Children 17 and younger will not be allowed in the facility.

Tickets will be sold in sets of four. The release explains that a full set of health and safety guidelines and facility restrictions can be viewed on Arlington’s website at arlingtonpark.com/tickets/policies-restrictions/.

Read more here.

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Students form three lines to have their temperature checked Monday at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

Symptom checks and temperature scans joined new classes and meetups with old friends as essential elements of the first day of school Monday at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights.

Nearly all of the school’s 837 students chose in-person learning this fall as Saint Viator became one of just a handful of Northwest suburban schools — most of them private — to offer that option.

Students also have the choice to attend remotely, but only a few chose, in addition to 56 international students, picked that option.

Before entering the building each day, students must complete a symptom checker through an emailed link. Their temperature then is checked at the door and movement through hallways is controlled through directional markings.

Everyone in the building must wear a mask at all times, except when eating lunch. Students are assigned a seat in all classes and in the lunchroom, where preordered box lunches are provided.

Read more here.

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Our Village Board of Trustees meets tonight at 6:30 PM. A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

Social distancing and masks are required to attend the meeting. Those wishing to listen in can dial 508-924-1464.

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