The Examiner U-46 News Feed
U-46 remote learning set at least until mid January
By Seth Hancock
Despite the data showing improvements, School District U-46 will remain in distance learning for all students through winter break.
Superintendent Tony Sanders made the announcement last week. In a statement, he wrote that “metrics have improved slightly in recent days” but the decision was made because the state is reporting new cases and local health departments are proclaiming, with no evidence, to “expect another surge” because citizens may have acted like free people for Thanksgiving.
“I would rather err on the side of caution for the safety and well-being of our families and staff, while also recognizing that families need time to plan for this shift,” Sanders wrote. “The last thing I want to have happen is telling you all the night before in-person instruction is scheduled to start that we are again postponed.”
According to Sanders, prekindergarten through sixth grade students as well as specialized student services are planned to return for a hybrid model on Jan. 11, 2021 and middle and high school students on Jan. 19, 2021.
Sanders said there would be “targeted opportunities for small group in-person instruction from [Jan. 4 to 15]” for struggling secondary students.
Josh Carpenter and Lela Majstorovic, assistant superintendents, also released a statement for high school families last week stating: “As we review student grades, we have a number of students who are currently failing one or more classes.”
The decision comes as pressure has mounted from parents who want a return to in-person instruction.
“Seeing school continue to be full remote was disappointing, but honestly not a surprise,” mother Dawn Martin told The Examiner. “Many districts opened in August, knowing that classes would likely be remote over the winter. The frustration with U-46 is that they waited until November to try to open schools.”
Martin added: “As far as second semester, I believe younger students will likely be in buildings. However, our middle and high school students have yet to even see a plan for their return. It is difficult to have much faith these students will see a building this school year. My question then becomes what will U-46 do to support these students going forward with the educational gaps created and additional mental health struggles. Older students do not have time to “catch up” down the road.”
Martin is a member of a Facebook group, ReOpen U46 Schools, which has organized an email campaign to board members and administrators as well as some rallies.