LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (CBS) — Dozens of students and parents at one of the biggest schools in Illinois gathered in Lincolnshire Monday to protest for a return to in-person learning.
The group gathered a petition to make their case at the upcoming school board meeting next week.
“It’s very important for kids to be in the classroom learning,” said parent Maria Papageorgiou.
A group of parents wants educators to take meaningful steps back into the classroom as they take steps protesting the pace of Stevenson High School’s transition towards more traditional education.
For months students have learned remotely, and Papageorgiou hopes that will soon change.
“At least hybrid, in person, in school with the teachers,” she said.
“Frankly the last six days we’ve had over 100 cases per day. We’re actually moving towards substantial community transmission, so we’re actually moving in the wrong direction,” said Mark Pfister, executive director of the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center.
He said most schools in the county continue remote learning, some are hybrid, and a small number teach in person. He has worked with administrators to teach safely, and while data supports more hybrid learning in the area, he adds COVID trends suggest that could change.
In a statement the school said over the next two weeks it will be bringing students back to campus for specific in-person instruction, including science and fine arts and some students who wish to study in small groups on campus. But Papageorgiou said that is not enough.
“A hybrid schedules should be offered that opportunity, not just selected classes,” she said.
“In fact we’re going the wrong direction, so we may be going from hybrid to virtual learning depending on what happens over the next week or two,” said Pfister.
“I do value the science of the numbers,” said Papageorgiou. “If it does go back in that direction where it doesn’t support the kids being in the classroom, I do support that.”
The school added that as they bring more students back into the classroom safety and a quality learning experience are top priorities.
Protesters want changes by November.