ST. CHARLES – As St. Charles Dist. 303 high school students get ready to return to the classroom next week as part of a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, a group of parents on Tuesday will rally for in-person learning five days a week.
The Learning Is Better In Person rally will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in front of Thompson Middle School, 705 W. Main St. The rally will be be held prior to the Dist. 303 School Board meeting at 7 p.m.
St. Charles East and North high schools have begun the school year with remote learning. According to rally organizers, the rally is to show their appreciation to the School Board for its decision to bring high school students back to the classroom, but also to urge board members to move forward with a five day return to learn plan.
District officials have said that full in-person learning won't be possible until the state moves into phase five of the Restore Illinois plan. According to the plan, that won't be possible until a vaccine is developed to prevent additional spread of COVID-19, a treatment option is readily available that ensures health care capacity is no longer a concern or there are no new cases over a sustained period.
Half of Dist. 303's high school students are set to return to the classroom by Oct. 19 as part of a plan being brought forth by the district. The plan was discussed at a School Board's Learning and Teaching Committee meeting in September following a rally calling for high school students to return to the classroom.
St. Charles East and North High School students on Thursday and Friday will attend orientation meetings on the in-person learning plan. Elementary school students are currently receiving in-person learning while middle school students have a hybrid of in-person and remote learning. To accommodate families who believe that an online option is best for their child, full remote learning is also being offered on a semester by semester basis.
As proposed, up to 50% of the high school population would receive a blend of in-person and remote learning by Oct. 19. All students would do remote learning on Mondays, followed by a blend of in-person and remote learning the rest of the week.
Several health and safety guidelines would be put in place, including that student desks will be placed six feet apart in a classroom and students will not be able to use lockers or congregate in hallways. Students also will have to wear masks covering their mouth and nose at all times.
Teachers will be doing in-person and remote learning at the same time.
"Students are in the classroom and at home learning together," District 303 Chief Academic Officer Denise Herrmann has said.