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Local News

Plainfield District 202 aims for phased reopening amid pandemic

District board to vote on plan Monday

Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 is planning a phased return to in-person instruction next school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 is planning a phased return to in-person instruction next school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 is aiming for a phased return to in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students would start the school year with remote learning and could return to in-person learning for the second quarter this fall if public health conditions allow, according to a news release. The District 202 Board learned about the proposed plan during a meeting on Wednesday.

“We believe this plan meets everyone’s top priority, which will always be the health and safety of our 25,000 students and 3,200 staff members,” District 202 Superintendent Lane Abrell said in the release.

Under this proposed plan, District 202 schools would begin with remote learning "in abundance of caution and concern for student and staff safety."

While the state is in Phase 4 of Gov. JB Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan, District 202 will consider three phases for its own reopening.

Phase 4A would allow for only remote learning which the district said in its plan is the "safest conditions in relation to spread of COVID within schools among students or staff."

The district would continue to feed students in need and provide meals for free or a reduced price for qualifying families.

District officials will evaluate conditions during the first six weeks of the school year to guide decisions to allow in-person instruction.

If the district advances to Phase 4B, that would allow for in-person school possibly with a hybrid schedule in which half of the student population would attend school daily. This phase could also allow for shortened days.

Parents would be able to choose whether or not to send their students back into the school building or only permit them to participate in remote learning.

If conditions improve further, the district could advance to Phase 4C which would allow for students to return to in-person instruction in more "normal" numbers.

In any case, in-person learning would require safety measures like students and staff wearing face masks indoors at all times.

The district designates Aug. 24 as the first day of school.

The proposal incorporates input from over 15,000 parent survey responses, over 1,900 staff survey responses, over 11,000 student survey responses, and meetings and communications with community members.

The District 202 Board will have to approve the plan. Once it's approved, administrators will share details with families.

The board is scheduled to vote on the plan at its meeting on Monday.

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