CHICAGO (CBS) — Parents are confused and concerned about a new COVID-19 rule at a north suburban school district.
CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports from Northfield.
The district is in enviable spot. Eighty-seven percent of students learn in the classroom. Thirteen percent are learning remotely. In an effort to keep those numbers right in place, the district is imposing stiff new rules aimed at discouraging families from traveling to COVID hot spots.
A task force was formed inside the district to find ways to improve policies regarding COVID-19. On Wednesday, the superintendent told parents:
“Three significant recommendations came from the task force…”
Including “students that are required to quarantine for travel-related reasons (i.e., travel to high-risk area), will not be permitted to access remote learning during the quarantine period.”
After concerned parents reached out for clarity, the district offered more information in a second district wide message:
“Reconnecting our students and staff has been an incredible gift for all of us and we must be vigilant in protecting that gift. The unforgiving charge of the task force is to make recommendations that protect that gift for all of us, even when they are not preferential to some.”
Shifting between in-person and remote, the district said, impacts staffing, continuity and workload demands. So parents have been asked to commit their child to in-person or remote learning for the entirety of the first trimester, which ends closer to the holiday season.
“We ask that until then, we all continue to sacrifice recreational travel to high risk areas beyond the 24-hour CCDPH guidance. If you have a unique circumstance, please contact us to discuss your individual situation.”
Some in the community are thrilled with the tough policy. Others feel it’s overreach, saying kids should never be prevented from learning remotely during the pandemic.
The district said you can travel to a high risk spot and come home and learn remotely right away, but you need to stay remote through the trimester.
CBS 2 reached out to the state board of education to see if this is against policy or legal and have yet to hear back.